KANDAHAR: US soldiers in armored vehicles patrol in Arghandab district of Kandahar province, 26 Jun 2008 Afghanistan says it has fired the police chief of the southern province of Kandahar for negligence related to a massive jailbreak earlier this month. The Interior Ministry said Thursday the deputy police chief and the criminal investigation director also were fired for the incident.
The cases have been sent to the provincial attorney general’s office for further investigation. Several other officials are expected to lose their jobs. More than 1,000 prisoners, including about 400 Taliban militants, escaped Kandahar’s main prison after a suicide bomber blew open the gates. Days after the escape, hundreds of Taliban fighters took over several villages near Kandahar city. NATO and Afghan forces had to carry out a major operation to clear the area.
Elsewhere Thursday, the U.S.-led coalition says a bomb blast hit coalition troops in Wardok province, causing some casualties. The coalition also says its soldiers and Afghan troops killed several Taliban insurgents in the southern provinces of Kandahar and Zabul. On Wednesday, coalition troops killed 22 Taliban militants in Paktika province, and a coalition helicopter made an emergency landing in the northeastern province of Kunar. It is unclear what forced the aircraft to land.
Afghan, NATO and U.S. troops are fighting a resurgent Taliban and other rebels who have strongholds in the southern and eastern parts of the country. They have been fighting since a U.S.-led invasion removed the Taliban from power in late 2001. -SANA