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A man sells newspapers in Kabul (file photo) (AFP)
KABUL, July 7, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- International media rights groups are demanding two Afghan journalists be released from custody, RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan reported.
Mohammad Asif Nang, the editor of the government magazine "Peace Jirga," was detained on July 1, while Kamran Mir Hazar, editor of the kabulpress.org website, was taken into custody on July 4. Both journalists had criticized the government.
The Paris-based group Reporters Without Borders calls the detentions illegal and questions why no charges have been brought. The International Federation of Journalists says it is "outraged" at the detentions.
Meanwhile, U.S.-led coalition forces said today more than 30 Taliban were killed in air and ground attacks in Afghanistan's southwestern Farah Province on July 6 after militants ambushed Afghan police and soldiers.
The coalition says it is unaware of civilian deaths. But the Afghan government says it is checking into reports of heavy civilian casualties in Farah and in eastern Kunar Province, where NATO-led forces say air raids killed a "number" of militants on July 5 and 6.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown called Afghan President Hamid Karzai overnight to reiterate his country's commitment to Kabul. In a statement, Karzai's office quoted Brown as saying "Afghanistan's security is the world's security."
Brown said the struggle against terror will "aggressively continue" and that more efforts will be made toward reconstruction. Brown says British policy will not change toward Afghanistan under his leadership.
(with material from agency reports)