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TALIBAN SPOKESMAN KILLED IN AFGHANISTAN

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A former high-profile spokesman for the Taliban has been shot dead in eastern Afghanistan, officials have said on Friday 11/28/2008. MOhammad  Hanif was killed at his home in the province of Nangarhar along with three other people who were believed to be his relatives.

Some reports said the assailants were wearing Afghan army uniforms. Dr Hanif, as he was known, was arrested in 01/2007, but freed from custody this year after collaborating in his investigation with the Afghan authorities. It was thought he no longer had any contact with the Taliban.

An Afghani official said the others killed were MOhammad  Hanif’s cousin, brother-in-law and nephew and that the attack may have been linked to a family feud.

Mohammad  Hanif began speaking for Afghanistan’s former rulers in 10/2005. He was held in 01/2007 in the border town of Towr Kham in Nangarhar soon after entering from Pakistan.

MOhammad  Hanif had been highly active, regularly e-mailing news organisations with the Taliban’s version of events in the east of the country. He was appointed after the capture in Quetta, Pakistan, of former Taliban spokesman Latifullah Hakimi in 10/2005.

Afghanistan’s intelligence agents released a video in which Mohammad Hanif alleged Taliban leader Mullah Omar was living inside Pakistan – a claim denied by Islamabad.

Separately more than 200 Taleban militants attacked an Afghan army convoy in the North-Western province of Badghis late on Thursday 11/27/2008, killing at least 13 Afghan soldiers and policemen.

The convoy was transporting dozens of vehicles bringing winter supplies to Bala Murghab district.  Abdul Ghani Sabri, the deputy provincial governor, said 11 security officials were also wounded and seven Taliban fighters killed in a three-hour long battle. Analysts said the ambush was one of the Taliban’s most audacious. 

 

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