Taliban fighters shot dead at least 12 workers clearing mines today in southern Afghanistan, authorities said, part of a series of attacks that saw two US troops killed and a top Afghan court official gunned down. Security in the capital, Kabul, has been stepped up amid Taliban warnings that attacks will continue as most foreign troops prepare to withdraw at the end of the month, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks sparked the US-led invasion.
The attack targeting the mine-clearing operation struck southern Helmand province and Afghan soldiers later began a firefight with the insurgents, a police spokesman says. Last night, a militant attack on a military convoy killed two US soldiers by the Bagram air base in Parwan province near Kabul, an international military official says. They were the first foreign troops killed this month, bringing to 65 the total number of international troops killed in the country this year, 50 of them Americans. (Read more Helmand province stories.)