Fighting in eastern Afghan mountains: 4 killed, 7 wounded

Militants attacked a police post and a government office near Afghanistan's rugged eastern border with Pakistan on Tuesday and a gunbattle killed four people and wounded seven, police said.

The attack occurred in mountains in Khost province's Bak district before dawn, said Wazir Badshah, a local police commander. He blamed Taliban rebels for the violence.

Two of the dead were police, while the other two were insurgents, Badshah said. The body of one of the slain militants was found to have explosives strapped to it. Three police and three members of a local security forces were wounded. The seventh person hurt was a local villager.

The fighting raged for about an hour before the militants fled, leaving behind some machine-guns and rocket launchers, he said.

Violence has been on the increase in Afghanistan in the past year, raising fears for this country's nascent democracy and leaving swaths of southern and eastern regions off-limits to aid workers, reports the AP.

I.L.