Afghan Gunmen Kill Eight Workers Employed at U.S. Military Base

Gunmen ambushed a car carrying Afghan civilians working on a remote U.S. military base in eastern Afghanistan and killed eight of them execution-style, police said Friday.

The ambush victims, who worked for the U.S. military as laborers in the mountainous Korangal area of Kunar province, were killed Thursday while driving home from work, said Abdul Saboor, Kunar's deputy police chief.

Gunmen stopped the workers' car, searched them and took about US$6,000 (euro4,780) before gunning them down, said Salehzai Didar, Kunar's governor. Two workers escaped, he said.

"This was a shocking attack against these poor people," Saboor said.

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Saboor did not identify the attackers, other than to describe them as "the enemy."

Al Qaeda and Taliban insurgents operate in eastern Afghan regions bordering Pakistan.

U.S. and Afghan troops, meanwhile, raided a compound linked to homemade bomb makers early Friday, killing one suspected militant and detaining four others, the U.S.-led coalition said.

During the operation in the eastern Khost province village of Bodakhel, one militant pointed a gun at soldiers, who shot him dead, a coalition statement said. Troops found explosives, detonation cords and multiple blasting caps.

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No U.S. or Afghan troops were hurt.

A suicide bomber also attacked Afghan soldiers in the country's east. In Khost's Ismailkheil district, a suicide bomber on foot targeted an Afghan National Army patrol on Friday, wounding five soldiers and three civilians, said Mohammed Ayub, the provincial police chief.

Afghanistan this year has faced its deadliest surge in violence since U.S.-led forces ousted the Taliban regime five years ago for hosting Usama bin Laden.

On Thursday, homicide bombings in the southern province of Helmand killed a British soldier, two children and a policeman.