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Taliban fighters attack, kill civilians

Taliban fighters attacked a two-bus convoy on Thursday, kidnapping and killing around 30 civilians, according to CNN.

Government officials identified the casualties as civilians, while a Taliban spokesman claimed the victims were Afghan soldiers.

The Afghan Defense Ministry Spokesman, Gen. Mohammad Zahir Azimi, said ''Our soldiers travel by military convoy, not in civilian buses. And we have military air transportation,'' Disputing the Taliban's claims, according to the New York Times.

The kidnapping occurred in a notoriously dangerous part of southern Afghanistan in the Taliban-controlled Kandahar province.

The exact number of civilians captured is highly disputed, according to the New York Times. Anywhere between 27 to 40 civilians may have been killed. While a spokesman for Kandahar's provincial governor said figures would be impossible to verify with absolute certainty.

According to CNN, Taliban officals often exaggerate or distort figures but have also often been very accurate when compared to government reports.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/world/AP-AS-Afghanistan.html?_r=1&ref=world&oref=slogin

http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/10/19/afghan.bus.attack/index.html