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(RFE/RL) April 27, 2007 -- Provincial officials in Afghanistan say Taliban fighters captured a district government building in the southeastern Ghazni Province overnight.

Ghazni's deputy governor, Mohammad Kazim Allahyer, said the district's
top administrator, the police chief, and three police officers were
killed.

Allahyer said government troops were reinforcing the area today and preparing to recapture the building. A Taliban spokesman claimed eight Afghan government officials were killed and that three police were captured.

Meanwhile, French Foreign Minister Phillippe Douste-Blazy said today that his country does not have long-term plans to keep troops in Afghanistan.

Douste-Blazy made the remarks just hours before a Taliban deadline for a French withdrawal from Afghanistan in exchange for the release of two French civilian hostages.

The two aid workers disappeared on April 3 in southwestern Afghanistan. A Taliban spokesman said today that the two would be killed if the French fail to withdraw their troops from Afghanistan by April 28.

(Reuters, AP, AFP)
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