The Associated Press, June 26, 2010

Bodies found beheaded in Afghanistan; 4 troops die

The acting Uruzgan governor, Khudia Rahim, said five or six of the 11 victims had been beheaded

Four American troops were reported killed and the bodies of 11 Afghan men, some beheaded, were found in rising violence across Afghanistan.

Mohammad Khan, deputy police chief in Uruzgan province, said a villager in the Bagh Char area of Khas Uruzgan district spotted the bodies Friday in a field and called police.

"They were killed because the Taliban said they were spying for the government, working for the government," he said.

The acting Uruzgan governor, Khudia Rahim, said five or six of the 11 victims had been beheaded.

NATO reported two U.S. service members were killed in insurgent attacks Friday in eastern Afghanistan, one American died Friday in a roadside bombing in southern Afghanistan, and a fourth U.S. troop died in a roadside bombing Thursday in southern Afghanistan.

Their deaths brought to 84 the number of international service members killed so far in June, which is already the deadliest month of the nearly nine-year-old war. At least 50 were Americans.

Also in the south, a joint force of Afghan and international troops killed a midlevel Taliban commander and other insurgents Thursday who were planting a roadside bomb near the provincial capital of Kandahar province, NATO said. Some of the insurgents were killed by a coalition airstrike, NATO said.

It said the Taliban commander, Faizullah, was responsible for roadside bomb attacks in the Arghandab district of Kandahar and is believed to have killed at least one coalition soldier in March.

The coalition is ramping up security in and around Kandahar, the largest city in the south, in an effort to drive out insurgents and bring the area under the control of the central Afghan government in Kabul.

In Khost province, another joint force captured an alleged operative of the Haqqani network, an al-Qaida-linked arm of the Taliban. Afghan and international forces have been involved in intense engagements with the Haqqani network along the border of Khost and Paktia provinces. Several insurgent commanders have been killed during operations, NATO said.

Associated Press writer Mirwais Khan in Kandahar and Amir Shah in Kabul contributed to this report.

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