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Afghan Police, Soldiers Killed In Upsurge Of Violence

10 July 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Fresh violence in Afghanistan has left at least 22 police and soldiers dead.

Officials said today that an attack by Taliban guerrillas in the south of the country saw four police shot dead while six others were captured and later found beheaded.

The police convoy came under attack during a routine patrol on 9 July in Helmand Province, some 700 kilometers southwest of Kabul.

In Paktia Province, some 100 kilometers southeast of Kabul, on 10 July at least 12 soldiers were killed and two wounded when their vehicle ran over a land mine.

Taliban militants meanwhile said they have beheaded a U.S. Special Forces member, whom they claimed to have been holding hostage since last week. But the U.S. military said there was no evidence the soldier had been killed.

In Spin Boldak, Kandahar Province, three Taliban fighters were killed during clashes with police today.

(compiled from wire reports)