Airstrike kills 17 policemen in south Afghanistan

Kabul, May 17 (AP) Afghan officials say an airstrike killed 17 policemen by mistake during a battle with the Taliban just outside the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah in the country's southern Helmand province.

Attaullah Afghan, head of the provincial council, says the airstrike took place on Thursday as Afghan police were fighting the Taliban near the city. He also says 14 policemen were wounded in the strike.

34 drug criminals sentenced to jail in Afghanistan

KABUL, May 14 (Xinhua): The Afghan law enforcement agencies have sentenced 34 individuals in connection with drug-related crimes to jail terms, authorities said Tuesday.

"In the past one week, 34 people involved in 42 cases of drug trafficking have been sentenced from two years and six months to 17 years, during open meeting of the primary and secondary courts of the Central Narcotics Tribunal (CNT), a judicial center," Afghan Counter-Narcotics Criminal Justice Task Force said in a statement.

At least 13 militants killed in S. Afghan clashes

KABUL, May 12 (Xinhua): At least 13 Taliban militants were killed after clashes erupted between police and militants in Afghanistan's southern province of Kandahar on Saturday, Ministry of Interior Affairs said Sunday.

"Afghan National Police came in contact with militants in Nadir Khan village, Maruf district, Kandahar province; the clashes left 13 militants dead and nine others wounded," the ministry said in a statement.

There were no casualties on the side of national police, the statement added.

NATO airstrike kills 10 Talibans in E. Afghanistan

SHARAN, Afghanistan, May 11 (Xinhua): A total of 10 Taliban militants were killed after a NATO-led coalition forces' pilotless plane struck a Taliban hideout in Afghanistan's eastern province of Paktika overnight, local police said Saturday.

"The strike was conducted in Mangarreet locality of Barmal district, killing 10 militants and destroying a militant's vehicle," Shah Mohammad Aryan, provincial police spokesman, told Xinhua.

No civilian was hurt following the sortie in the province, 155 km south of the country's capital Kabul, the source added.

3 police, 14 militants killed in clashes in S. Afghanistan

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, May 4 (Xinhua): About three police officers and 14 militants were killed in checkpoint clashes in Afghanistan's southern province of Kandahar on Saturday, provincial police chief said.

"The clashes started at early hours of the day after Taliban stormed Boldak Nika police security checkpoint in Spin Boldak district, southern of provincial capital Kandahar city. And the exchange of fire lasted for four hours, leaving the casualties," Gen. Tadeen Khan told Xinhua.

Massive Afghanistan peace summit ends in Kabul, without Taliban

Kabul, May 3 (AFP) A huge peace meeting aimed at finding an exit from Afghanistan's war is due to finish Friday in Kabul, with leading politicians expected to announce visions for a much-needed breakthrough.

This week's "loya jirga", or grand assembly, saw about 3,200 religious and tribal leaders, politicians and representatives gather under tight security to try to find common ground and discuss possible conditions for a peace deal with the Taliban.

Taliban: Fresh round of talks with US peace envoy starting

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Taliban say a fresh round of talks with U.S. peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad is to start in Qatar, where the religious movement maintains a political office.

Khalilzad is trying to negotiate an end to Afghanistan’s 17-year war, America’s longest military confrontation. He was in Pakistan on Tuesday.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told The Associated Press that Wednesday’s talks will be the sixth round of direct meetings with Khalilzad since his appointment last year.

Taliban declare start of spring offensive amid talks with US

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Taliban announced Friday the start of their spring offensive despite talking peace with the United States and ahead of a significant gathering of Afghans meant to discuss resolutions to the protracted war and an eventual withdrawal of American troops from the country.

The insurgents released a lengthy missive in five languages, including English, saying the fighting would continue while foreign forces remain in Afghanistan.

District falls to Taliban in western Afghan province

QALA-E-NAW, Afghanistan, April 6 (Xinhua) -- Militants loyal to the Taliban completely took control of the turbulent Ab Kamari district in Afghanistan's western Badghis province overnight, an official said Saturday.

"Taliban militants finally managed to take control of Ab Kamari district, after three days of siege this late Friday night," Mohammad Naser Nazari, an official of provincial council, told Xinhua.

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