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Afghan forces say 24 Taliban guerrillas captured

Afghan security forces captured 24 Taliban guerrillas, including four mid-level commanders, in operations in the southern province of Zabul last weekend, provincial officials said on Thursday.
/ Source: Reuters

Afghan security forces captured 24 Taliban guerrillas, including four mid-level commanders, in operations in the southern province of Zabul last weekend, provincial officials said on Thursday.

Provincial security chief Jailani Khan said the guerrillas had been captured on Sunday in two operations in the province.

“We arrested some of them in an ambush and some in a house we had under surveillance,” Khan said.

Zabul Governor Khiyal Mohammad Hussaini identified three of the commanders as Mullah Sulaiman Baheer, Mullah Akhtar Mohammad and Mullah Abdullah. Mullah is a title for a Muslim religious leader and is used by many senior Taliban members.

The fourth commander was not identified.

Clashes between militants and government forces have increased since the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan ended last weekend.

Gunmen, explosion kill 10 police
On Tuesday, Taliban gunmen raided a police post near a hydro-power dam in the south of the country, killing six policemen, including their commander.

On the same day, four police officers were killed and five wounded when their vehicle was hit by a blast in the central province of Uruzgan.

Police detained seven low-ranking Taliban suspects and seized a large weapons cache in a raid in a district west of Kabul on Saturday.

The Taliban have waged a guerrilla insurgency in Afghanistan since their government was overthrown by U.S.-led forces in late 2001 for refusing to give up Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaida leaders responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.

More than 1,000 people have been killed in militant-related violence in the past year but the guerrillas failed in their vow to disrupt presidential elections won by U.S.-backed incumbent Hamid Karzai last month.