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Afghans retake town overrun by Taliban; no word on fate of captured official, police

Afghan security forces recaptured a remote town Friday that the Taliban had overtaken the previous day, officials said.

Taliban militants attacked and captured Rashidan in Ghazni province late Thursday, taking captive the district's government leader and eight police, militants and officials said.

A Defense Ministry spokesman said Afghan security forces regained control of the town Friday evening. Radmanish, who goes by one name, said the fate of the nine captured men wasn't immediately clear.

A spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition, 1st Lt. Nathan Perry, said reports indicated the Afghan forces encountered no resistance in Rashidan on Friday.

Taliban militants have in the past briefly overrun remote district centers before Afghan or NATO forces again push the militants out. But insurgents also control several areas in southern Afghanistan, particularly in Helmand province.
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Zabiullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, said militants attacked Rashidan on Thursday night and captured eight police and the local government leader, whom he named as Ghulam Shah.

A Taliban commander who spoke to AP Television News in Rashidan said the militants would ambush Afghan troops who tried to retake the town. The commander did not give his name, and he and other fighters wore scarves around their faces. The Taliban burned two police vehicles and part of the government center, the AP video showed.

Rashidan is a district far off the main highway that circles Afghanistan. It lies roughly 65 miles (100 kilometers) southwest of Kabul, the capital.

Elsewhere, the U.S.-led coalition said several militants were killed and 16 detained on Thursday during an operation in Ghazni's Andar district. The coalition said the forces targeted a militant leader who facilitated "foreign fighters" and roadside bomb attacks. The coalition did not say how many militants were killed during the raid.

A coalition service member was killed near the southwestern town of Farah on Thursday, the coalition said Friday. No additional details, including the service member's nationality, were released.

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Added: May-31-2008 
By: natej740
Afghanistan, Middle East
Tags: Afghanistan, Taliban, al-Qaeda, OEF
Location: Kabul, Kabol, Afghanistan (load item map)
Views: 4721 | Comments: 17 | Votes: 1 | Favorites: 0 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 1
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