KABUL - An Afghan police chief
was missing after Taliban insurgents raided and torched a district-level
government office and clinic, police said on Monday.
The insurgents, who over the past year have mounted their bloodiest campaign
of violence since they were ousted from power in 2001, raided a district
headquarters in the western province of Farah on Sunday night.
Provincial police chief General Sayed Agha Saqib told the Pakistan-based
Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) news agency the district's police chief was missing
after the raid in which the Taliban also set fire to a wheat storage depot.
A spokesman for the Taliban, Qari Mohammad Yousaf, told AIP that Taliban
fighters had captured the district police chief and nine of his men but Saqib
said only the district police chief was missing.
Most Taliban attacks over the past year have been in the south and east, in
areas near the Pakistani border, but insurgents have also been launching some
raids in western, central and northern areas.