Taliban guerrillas kill six Afghan soldiers


Afghan Taliban fighters killed six government soldiers today in the latest attack by the ousted radical regime ahead of October's presidential elections, officials said.

The soldiers were killed in a pre-dawn raid on a military post in Maiwand district of southern Kandahar province, said the province's police chief Khan Mohammad Khan.

He blamed guerrillas from the ousted Taliban for carrying out the attack.

Abdul Latif Hakimi, a spokesman for the Taliban, confirmed Khan's report. He said Taliban warriors also managed to seize some ammunition from the post.

The latest attack is part of the rising violence by Taliban and their Islamic militant allies ahead of the presidential elections for October 9th and parliamentary polls in April.

Nearly 1,000 people have been killed mostly in militant-linked attacks in the past year in Afghanistan from where the US-led military ousted the Taliban in late 2001.

Taliban remnants are believed to have links with al Qaeda, the group they sheltered from the 1990s, and militant Islamic forces loyal to former Afghan prime minister Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.

The ousted militia regularly carries out attacks on Afghan government forces. Around 18,000 U.S.-led troops are combing the south and east of Afghanistan for Taliban and al Qaeda members.

Another eight thousand peacekeepers are part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) stationed in Kabul and northern parts of the country.