Afghanistan: intelligence service officer beheaded

One Afghan intelligence service employee was abducted and beheaded and the agency's vehicle was struck with a remote-controlled bomb in a separate attack by assailants, with six employees killed and three wounded, officials said Monday.

Another roadside bomb attack in the south killed two policemen, while a large car bomb was found and defused in the capital, Kabul.

On Monday, in Laghman province's Alingar district, an intelligence service vehicle driving from neighboring Nuristan province was hit by a remote-controlled bomb, said provincial police chief Abdul Karim. He said six of the agency's workers were killed, while three others were wounded.

An intelligence service vehicle was also bombed in the same province on Sunday, in an attack that killed two intelligence service officers, a soldier and a driver in the provincial capital Mehtar Lam.

In Ghazni province, southwest of Kabul, an intelligence service employee was invited into a home, then kidnapped and beheaded Sunday by the Taliban, said deputy governor Mohammad Kazim Allayar. He said the owner of the house is currently under investigation.

In southern Zabul province, a roadside bomb hit police Monday as they were patrolling in Shamulzayi district, killing two policemen and wounding five others, said district chief Wazir Mohammad Khan.

Intelligence officers in Kabul discovered a large car bomb Monday in a battered, old taxi parked in a crowded civilian area where NATO and U.S. convoys often drive past.

Authorities found inside the car a tank of gasoline, 10 liters (3 gallons) of explosive chemicals, three grenades and a mortar, an official said on condition of anonymity because of the agency's policy.

"Fortunately the intelligence service discovered it, otherwise it would have caused an enormous calamity in the area," the official said.

There have been at least three suicide bomb attacks in Kabul this year, but the areas worst plagued by violence are the southern and eastern provinces.

There have been 39 suicide attacks in the first three months of 2007, a threefold increase compared to the same period last year, according to the Afghanistan NGO Safety Office.

On Saturday, a suicide bomber blew himself up in the eastern city of Khost, killing six civilians and wounding 40 others, officials said.

NATO and Afghan troops, meanwhile, pressed ahead with their largest-ever offensive launched last month in southern Afghanistan to flush out Taliban militants from the northern tip of opium-producing Helmand province.

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Author`s name Angela Antonova