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At Least 35 Killed in Attack on Afghan Road Crew

Posted by The Agonist on May 19th, 2011

From our partners at The Agonist

Ray Rivera & Sangar Rahimi | Kabul | May 19

NYT – Insurgents ambushed an Afghan construction crew working on a road project in southeastern Afghanistan early Thursday morning, leaving at least 35 dead security guards, laborers and engineers scattered along the mountainous terrain.

Security guards tried to fight off the attackers in a gunfight that lasted two hours in a remote part of Paktia Province, local officials said. Of the 80 workers and guards at the construction camp, only 8 are known to have escaped unharmed. An additional 20 were wounded and 17 were still missing, they said.

The attack began about 2 a.m., less than 50 miles east of the provincial capital, Gardez, in an area strongly under the sway of the Haqqani Network, a brutal offshoot of the Taliban.

The group, based across the border in Pakistan’s tribal areas, has been responsible for attacks throughout eastern Afghanistan. In an e-mail to reporters, the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack without directly implicating the Haqqani group.

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