Afghan AG Accuses General of Kidnap Try

The Associated Press
Friday, June 8, 2007; 7:05 PM

KABUL, Afghanistan -- Afghanistan's top prosecutor accused a general of attacking and trying to kidnap him Friday, a claim that highlighting the factionalism and suspicion that dogs the U.S.-backed government of President Hamid Karzai.

The allegations surfaced as roadside bombs and battles killed six police officers and left 13 Taliban fighters dead or wounded.

Attorney General Abdul Jabar Sabet said he was set upon in the middle of a traffic jam just outside Kabul by Gen. Din Mohammad Jurat, a senior official at the Interior Ministry, and his bodyguards. Sabet said he was hit with rifle butts and some of the bodyguards fired guns into the air.

"I received an intelligence report saying that it was a planned kidnapping attempt," said Sabet, who was unhurt.

His account could not be verified independently, and Jurat could not be reached for comment.

Sabet described the general as a potential suspect in a criminal investigation and said Jurat had asked for the release of several suspects already in custody.

Sabet, an ethnic Pashtun, has pressed an increasing number of corruption probes in recent months, angering some in the ethnic Tajik-dominated Northern Alliance _ the militia that helped the U.S. topple the mainly Pashtun Taliban. Jurat is aligned with the Northern Alliance.

Analysts say suspicions and animosities among Afghanistan's ethnic groups have hampered efforts to reform the government and tackle corruption that is sapping support for the Western-backed administration.

Elsewhere Friday, a roadside bomb exploded in Kandahar province's Panjwayi district, killing three policemen and wounding four officers riding in a vehicle, Panjwayi district police chief Bismullah Khan said.

Another roadside bomb killed two police officers and wounded three others in a border police vehicle in the nearby Spin Boldak district, Gen. Raziq Khan said.

Khan also said that in the Arghistan district, a police operation against Taliban fighters on Thursday killed or wounded nine militants. He said other insurgents carried the casualties away but intelligence sources reported the casualty figures.

In Zabul province, a two-hour gun battle killed one policeman and four Taliban, acting provincial police chief Hakim Khan said.

Violence has spiked sharply in recent weeks in Afghanistan. Some 2,200 people, many of them insurgents, have died in insurgency-related violence this year, according to an Associated Press count based on numbers reported by U.S., NATO, U.N. and Afghan officials.

© 2007 The Associated Press