Taliban kill up to 13 private security guards in ambush

Taliban militants ambushed a convoy of private security guards on a dangerous highway south of the capital, and officials said Monday up to 13 guards were killed.

NATO's International Security Assistance Force said the ambush was against civilians, but Afghan officials said the attack came against private security guards on the Kabul-Kandahar highway Sunday, the same roadway 23 South Koreans were kidnapped from on July 19.

The Taliban attack Sunday sparked a three-hour gunbattle and resulted in the deaths of 13 private security guards and five Taliban militants, said Jailani Khan, the commander of highway police in Zabul province.

Gulabshah Alikhail, the governor's spokesman, said seven guards were killed and five wounded, while an Interior Ministry statement said 10 private guards were killed.

NATO's ISAF reported that Romanian soldiers came upon a civilian convoy ambushed by the Taliban and that 12 civilians were killed and eight wounded.