Kabul: A senior Afghan police intelligence chief was assassinated and his bodyguard killed near the capital, an official said on Thursday, the latest government figure to be targeted as violence spirals in the country.
Elsewhere, the international security force said it had captured a suspected Taliban-linked supplier of bomb-making materials overnight in an eastern province, as the coalition steps up operations in the south and east, boosted by thousands of new American troops sent to try to turn around the nearly nine-year-old war.
Mohammad Gul, police intelligence director for western Kabul, was ambushed by gunmen on Wednesday night as he returned home from his office, said the city`s criminal investigations chief, Abdul Ghfar Sayed Zada. One of his two bodyguards was also killed.
Gul was in charge of preventing terrorist attacks and tracking down suspected insurgents in the western quarter of the capital, Zada said.
Taliban and other insurgents often target Afghan officials to undermine government support and sow fear. More than 100 government figures were targeted last year, at least half of them killed.
In the eastern province of Khost, a combined Afghan-international force captured a suspected explosives supplier for the Haqqani network, a powerful militant group with links to both the Taliban and al Qaeda, NATO said in a statement.
The security force also arrested several other insurgents in Terayzai district, where they found a cache of automatic weapons, ammunition and grenades, the alliance said, adding that no shots were fired and no civilians were harmed.
International forces have stepped up offensive operations to fight the entrenched Taliban insurgency nine years after US-backed forces toppled the Islamist movement`s hard-line government for sheltering the al Qaeda terrorist leaders. The war effort has been bolstered by 30,000 more American troops ordered to Afghanistan late last year by President Barack Obama.