Afghanistan

Taliban kills parliamentary candidate in southern Afghanistan

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Kabul (dpa) - Remnants of the ousted Taliban regime on Thursday claimed to have killed a parliamentary candidate in Afghanistans southern province of Kandahar.

Rebel spokesman Abdul Latif Hakimi said that the Taliban fighters arrested candidate Wahid Khan as he left his house on Wednesday morning in the Maiwand district of Kandahar.

"Our mujaheddin (holy fighters) killed him because the Taliban had already declared a fatwa (religious order) and asked all Afghans not to take part in the elections,'' Hakimi said.

Hakimi said that Khan was the uncle of Arif Noorzai, the former Afghan minister for tribal affairs.

Kandahar is the main stronghold of the former Taliban spiritual leader Mullah Mohammad Omar.

For the first time ever last October, Afghanistan held a presidential election, nearly three years after a U.S.-led coalition toppled the extremist Taliban regime for sheltering Osama bin Laden, blamed for the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington.

Currently, there are some 20,000 U.S-led troops hunting the remnants of the Taliban and their allies from the al-Qaeda network, mainly in the south and south-eastern regions of the country.

Recently Taliban rebels have accelerated their military attacks against U.S. and Afghan troops, resulting in the killing of more than 250 people. dpa km wjh

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