Afghan delegate among six killed in new violence


At least six people, including a member of the provincial assembly, were killed in separate attacks in Afghanistan today, officials said.

Violence this year has been the bloodiest in Afghanistan since US-led forces overthrew Taliban's government in 2001.

Three of the victims were policemen killed by suspected Taliban insurgents in a pre-dawn raid in the southeastern province of Khost, near the border with Pakistan.

Hours later a roadside bomb, apparently aimed at a vehicle carrying members of a Western security firm, went off to the south of the western city of Herat, killing two civilians.

And in southern Kandahar city, a man riding a motorbike gunned down provincial delegate Mohammad Yunus Hosseini outside his office, police said.

The attacks came as authorities searched for an Italian photojournalist kidnapped by armed men while travelling in a bus in the troubled south.

But the Taliban have denied any role in the abduction of Gabriele Torsello which comes just over a week after two German journalists were shot dead in the relatively safer north.

More than 2,500 people, most of them militants, have been killed in Taliban-led violence and foreign troops operations this year in Afghanistan.

The deaths also include hundreds of civilians, aid workers, Afghan forces and over 140 foreign soldiers.