Taliban insurgents attack Afghan power plant


Taliban insurgents blew up a power station in the southern Afghan province of Helmand on Saturday, killing two people and wounding eight, police said.


The power station, in the district of Girishk, is the main source of electricity for the area.


"Two employees of the station were killed and eight other people including two passers-by were wounded in the explosion," said provincial police chief, Hussain Andiwal.


"The building was damaged but the power supply machinery is safe," he said.


Taliban militants planted hundreds of roadside bombs and conducted scores of suicide bomb attacks in 2007 in Afghanistan, contributing to a record year of violence that killed 6,000 people, nearly 2,000 of them civilians.


The militants, fighting to expel foreign forces and bring down the Western-backed government, have also attacked infrastructure projects.


The Afghan government and its Western backers hope they can undermine any support for the Taliban by providing basic services such as power, roads and water for irrigation, as well as security.


Separately, Afghan and foreign forces killed and wounded a number of Taliban insurgents in a joint operation in the southern province of Uruzgan on Friday, the Ministry of Defence said.


Elsewhere, Afghan police killed three Taliban insurgents, wounded four and detained six in a clash in the southwestern province of Nimroz on Friday, a senior police official said.


The Taliban have vowed to intensify attacks on Afghan and foreign troops countrywide and launch a wave of suicide bombings in their campaign this year. (Reuters)