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9 April 2005 -- Taliban militants are claiming to have killed a senior Afghan provincial official who was apparently abducted several days ago.
The killing is the third murder of a local official in less than a week in the restive south, the former stronghold of the Taliban.
A Taliban spokesman is quoted by Reuters as saying that Sarajuddin, chief of the power and water department in southern Zabul Province, was killed after a group of Taliban militants abducted him two days ago outside the town of Qalat, the provincial capital.
The death was confirmed by a local police official, who added that a search is under way for Sarajuddin's body.