KANDAHAR, Afghanistan -- US-led soldiers and Afghan forces killed 25 Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan's volatile south and NATO-led Canadian troops narrowly escaped a suicide bombing yesterday near the site of a battle that killed four soldiers a day earlier.
About a thousand South Korean Christians began their journey home from the capital, Kabul, under tight government security after being ordered out of Afghanistan amid allegations they were trying to convert Muslims.
Acting on a tip from local tribal elders, police in southern Helmand province raided an orchard where Taliban fighters were camping and called in airstrikes, said provincial police chief Ghulam
NATO this week took charge of security in the south from the coalition amid a barrage of violence that has left seven of its soldiers dead. The coalition, which is not under NATO command, has retained responsibility for counterterrorism operations there.
In southern Kandahar province, a suicide attacker blew up his car yesterday in Maywand district, narrowly missing a nearby NATO patrol that drove away undamaged, officials said.
The Canadian soldiers, believing they had been attacked by roadside bombs, kept moving and left the investigation to local authorities, Canadian military spokesman Lieutenant Mark MacIntyre said.
The attack on the Canadian patrol came in the same area where militants killed four Canadian soldiers and a suicide car bomber killed 21 civilians Thursday.
In Kabul, President Hamid Karzai condemned Thursday's bombing at a busy market as a ``cowardly attack against our Muslim people," and expressed sorrow for the deaths of the Canadian soldiers.
The lawlessness that has hit the south encroached on Kabul on Thursday night, when 12 gunmen attacked a highway checkpoint on the outskirts of the city, police said. Police killed one attacker.
Hundreds of Korean Christians boarded flights after the government ordered them to leave, accusing them of trying to convert Muslims.
The group -- which had planned to stage a three-day sports and culture festival starting today -- denied the allegations. A spokesman for the group, Kang Sung-han, vowed they would return one day in small groups.