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Many killed in Afghan fighting
by reposted
Thursday Jul 21st, 2005 7:20 AM
Fighting across Afghanistan has left 14 people dead, while the commander of a NATO-led force has expressed confidence that security will be tight for upcoming parliamentary elections.
Nine ethnic Hazaras tribesmen were killed by suspected Taliban rebels when they raided their village on Monday in central Uruzgan province, Governor Jan Mohammed Khan said.

Then, on Wednesday, other residents of the victims' village raided a nearby ethnic Pashtun hamlet, killing four people, he said.

The Taliban consists mostly of Pashtuns, the dominant ethnic group in southern Afghanistan, and the families of the nine Hazaras mistakenly thought the attackers had been from the nearby Pashtun village, Khan said.

Security forces have deployed to the region to reduce tension between the two communities, he said.

In another development, US forces killed a militant and wounded another after coming under attack in neighbouring Zabul province on Wednesday, a US military statement said.

Meanwhile, the commander of Afghanistan's International Security Assistance Force, a NATO-led force of 8000 troops responsible for security in Kabul and much of the country's north and west, said security would be tight for the poll.

“I'm sure there will be no problem with security for the election,” Lieutenant General Ethem Erdagi told a news conference.

NATO plans to boost ISAF by 3000 troops in the lead-up to the elections on 18 September.

The extra troops will provide security for thousands of candidates and hundreds of polling stations.

NATO similarly boosted its peacekeeping force during the presidential elections last October.

On Sunday, a female Afghan election worker was shot and wounded about three kilometres from a voter registration station in northeastern Nuristan province, the government's electoral body said in a statement on Thursday.