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Afghanistan war: US troops, Afghan politician targeted in deadly weekend

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Insurgents have targeted candidates and campaigners ahead of elections in Afghanistan, and on Saturday a man on a motorcycle shot and killed parliamentary candidate Abdul Manan in Herat. Agence France-Presse reports that officials blamed the Taliban, who they say have killed two other candidates since July.

On Sunday, Herat residents discovered the bodies of the five workers for parliamentary candidate Fawzya Galani, one of Afghanistan’s few female candidates. The campaign workers were kidnapped Wednesday while traveling in the countryside, according to the Associated Press.

Also in the wave of attacks this weekend, the Washington Post reports that NATO soldiers repelled attacks by Taliban insurgents wearing American uniforms on two bases in the southern Khost Province. One of the bases, Camp Chapman, is where a suicide bomber killed seven CIA employees in December. No US soldiers were killed in Saturday’s attacks, while 21 insurgents died. The AP reports that US officials blamed the Haqqani network for the attack, a Pakistan-based group with ties to Al Qaeda.

The Post reports that Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s chief of staff said over the weekend that he is not confident that Afghanistan is “on a path to success” in defeating the Taliban. He said the US needs to alter its strategy, and also said media reports of a faltering US-Afghan relationship are harming the war effort.

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