A British solider has been killed and one other injured in a suicide attack in Afghanistan. The victims were part of a NATO patrol which was targeted while leaving the national police station in the southern city of Lashkar Gah in the troubled Helmand province.
Helmand, also the opium capital of the world’s largest producer, is one of the areas most racked by violence. Its proximity to the Pakistan frontier means it has seen some of the fiercest fighting of the escalating conflict. Last night, a group of Taliban fighters were arrested after a skirmish near a border town.
Some of those captured said they had come from Pakistan to fight a “jihad against infidels who have invaded Afghanistan.” The Afghani president recently blamed Islamabad for not doing enough to stop its citizens from joining the conflict. More than 30 Taliban fighters were killed in the clashes after they attacked International Security Assistance Force troops.
Meanwhile, the kidnappers of an Italian journalist have demanded that Rome withdraw its troops from the country in return for his freedom. Abdul Rahman, 41, was granted asylum in Italy in March after being charged with leaving Islam, an offence punishable by death.