Germany offers aid amid Afghan violence

21st August 2006, Comments 0 comments

21 August 2006, KABUL - The German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier pledged increased security assistance to Afghanistan Monday after 70 suspected Taliban and three policemen were killed in latest fighting. Steinmeier, on a three-day visit to Afghanistan, called for a long-term German engagement in the training of Afghanistan's police forces. Germany is coordinating the rebuilding of the Afghan police and border police with the aim of training police officers committed to democracy and human rights

21 August 2006

KABUL - The German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier pledged increased security assistance to Afghanistan Monday after 70 suspected Taliban and three policemen were killed in latest fighting.

Steinmeier, on a three-day visit to Afghanistan, called for a long-term German engagement in the training of Afghanistan's police forces.

Germany is coordinating the rebuilding of the Afghan police and border police with the aim of training police officers committed to democracy and human rights.

The security situation in southern Afghanistan where the Taliban resurgent rebellion was concentrated, was "quite serious," Steinmeier said at Monday's meeting with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Kabul.

One reason for this was that Afghanistan security forces had previously been weak, the minister said.

At least three policemen were killed in an attack on a patrol in the southern Afghanistan province of Helmand, provincial government spokesman, Haji Mohajuddin Khan said Monday.

Khan said the bomb had been detonated Sunday by "enemies of Afghanistan", which is how government officials describe radical Islamic rebels such as the Taliban.

Two children had also been injured in the Helmand explosion according to the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

The weekend's major battle left more than 70 suspected Taliban dead after a group of Taliban rebels raided the district town of Pajwayi late Saturday with heavy artillery and small arms fire.

Raaz Mohammad Sarhadi, administrative chief of Pajwayi district in Kandahar province, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa that police called for reinforcements from Afghan and NATO-led forces in the province, and more than 70 Taliban militants were killed in fighting that lasted until early Sunday.

Sarhadi said that the battle left four police officers killed and four others wounded. The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) provided air support in the engagement.

"Afghan officials have reported that between 60 and 72 Taliban fighters were killed in a series of engagements, in which ISAF ground forces called upon air and artillery assets," ISAF military spokesman Major Quentin Innis said.

Afghan Defence Ministry spokesman General Zahir Azimi said that one army soldier was killed and five others wounded in the fighting, while the force captured dozens of rocket launchers and Kalashnikov rifles.

The German foreign minister was scheduled to visit German forces at field headquarters Tuesday in Mazar-e-Sharif and Kunduz.

DPA

Subject: German news

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