Latest developments in Afghanistan

AP News
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Posted: Dec 31, 2009 2:28 PM

Latest developments in Afghanistan:

_ The CIA said seven of its employees were killed and six others wounded in Wednesday's suicide bombing at a base in Khost province in eastern Afghanistan. One of them was the chief of the CIA's post there.

_ The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack as well as a roadside bombing that killed four Canadian soldiers and a Canadian journalist the same day in Kandahar province in the south.

_ Two French journalists and their local guides disappeared Wednesday while traveling in Kapisa province, the French government said. One Afghan official called it a kidnapping; French officials stopped short of such claims.

_ Militants beheaded six Afghans and seriously wounded a seventh for allegedly cooperating with government authorities, police said. The attack took place in Uruzgan province in south-central Afghanistan.

_ U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan doubled in 2009 compared with a year ago as 30,000 additional troops began pouring in for a stepped-up offensive and the Taliban fought back with powerful improvised bombs.

_ The United Nations said that a weekend raid by foreign troops in a tense eastern Afghan province killed eight local students and warned against nighttime actions by coalition forces because they often cause civilian deaths.

_ A spokesman for the governor of Helmand province said an airstrike by international forces killed and wounded civilians. Dawud Ahmadi said he did not know how many were killed Wednesday in Babajid district. He said the attack took place after an international forces patrol came under fire. NATO said it was aware of the reports and was investigating.