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Senior Afghan Official Survives Roadside Blast

20 September 2004 -- Afghan Transitional Administration Deputy Chairman Ne'matullah Shahrani survived a roadside bomb attack in the north today and two U.S. soldiers were killed in a gun battle in the southeast.

Shahrani was traveling in a convoy with other members of Afghan Transitional Chairman Hamid Karzai's cabinet when a remote-controlled device was detonated near his car in Konduz Province.

Hundreds of kilometers to the south of Konduz, in Paktika Province, two U.S. soldiers from the 17,000-strong U.S.-led force hunting Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants were killed in a gun battle.

Fighting also erupted today between coalition forces and suspected militants in central Afghanistan's Uruzgan Province and southern Zabul Province.

Also in Zabul Province, suspected Taliban militants beheaded three Afghan soldiers over the weekend.

(RFE/RL/wire reports)