NATO ambushed in western Afghanistan

NATO ambushed in western Afghanistan

NATO ambushed in western Afghanistan

Pakistani security takes position during clashes with an angry mob in Quetta following the killing of Shiites. AFP photo

Insurgents ambushed a NATO coalition supply convoy in a mountainous area of western Afghanistan, sparking a three-hour firefight in which an Afghan soldier, five Afghan security guards, and 14 attackers were killed, officials said today.

Najibullah Najibi, a spokesman for the Afghan National Army’s western region, said the battle raged March 28 along a highway regularly used by coalition supply trucks in Bala Buluk district of Farah province. There were varying estimates of the number of militants killed. Raouf Ahmadi, a spokesman for the Afghan National Police in the west, said more than 30 militants were killed and 10 others were wounded.

Sayed Abdul Wahid, an official of the Arya security company, said his workers who were fighting with AK-47s were overpowered by militants using heavy weapons, including rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns.

Gunmen ‘kill six’ UN workers, Shiites in Pakistan

Separately, the coalition said a NATO service member was killed in a roadside bombing today in southern Afghanistan. Meanwhile, gunmen today shot dead four Pakistani Shiite Muslims and two U.N. employees in Baluchistan, a region plagued by Taliban violence and insurgency, police said.

Gunmen on a motorbike fired at a van carrying members of the minority Muslim community in the Speeni Road neighborhood of Quetta city, the capital of the southwestern province, police official Jamil Kakar told Agence France Presse. “Four people, including a woman, were killed and seven others were wounded,” Kakar said, adding that it appeared to be a “sectarian” attack.

Dozens of Shiites demonstrated in Quetta’s main Meezan Chowk square and outside the provincial police chief’s office, and torched

a motorcycle at a local hospital to protest against the killings, witnesses said.