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Taliban Attacks Coalition Convoy in E. Afghanistan
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Taliban militant attacked a convoy of the US-led coalition forces on Monday in the eastern Nooristan province of Afghanistan, while the forces' casualties are disputed.

A purported Taliban spokesman, Mohammad Hanif, said the militants attacked a US convoy of coalition forces in Khmbesh district at 10:00 AM local time, killing several US soldiers and burning eight vehicles.

He said four Taliban militants were also killed in the fire exchange.

However, an official from neighboring Kunar province told Xinhua on condition of anonymity that three US soldiers were injured in the attack.

Meanwhile, Chris Miller, a coalition spokesman, confirmed with Xinhua that there was an attack against a coalition convoy in the district on Monday. "But there were no coalition casualties and any other damages."

The Taliban, which frequently attacks foreign and government troops in this volatile country, tends to exaggerate the casualties and damages they have inflicted on the troops.

About 20,000 coalition forces are deployed in eastern Afghanistan to hunt down Taliban and other anti-government militants there.

Also on Monday, Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai has accused the enemies of Afghanistan of involvement in the assassination of Hakim Tanaiwal the late governor of southeastern Paktia province and condemned it "The enemies of Afghanistan are trying to kill those people who are working for the peace and prosperity of Afghanistan.

Tanaiwal who served as the governor of the restive Paktia province was killed along with two colleagues when a suicide bomber blew himself up as the governor left his office on Sunday.
Four more people were killed as another suicide bomber targeted the funeral ceremony of the late provincial governor at his province Khost on Monday.

No one has claimed responsibility but the officials usually put such attacks on the enemies of Afghanistan a term used against Taliban-linked militants.

More than 2,300 people mostly militants have been killed in Taliban-led insurgency so far this year in Afghanistan, according to official statistics.

(Xinhua News Agency September 12, 2006)

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