Taliban kill 10 mine-clearing workers: Afghan interior ministry

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Afghanistan is one of the most heavily mined countries in the world, a legacy of decades of conflict

The Taliban shot dead at least 10 mine-clearing workers in the northern Afghan province of Baghlan, the interior ministry said Wednesday, in the latest attack to rock the violence-wracked country.

"The Taliban entered a compound of a mine-clearing agency... and started shooting everyone," interior ministry spokesman Tareq Arian told reporters.

Baghlan governor's spokesman Jawed Basharat told AFP the incident happened late Tuesday in an area controlled by government forces, and that the attackers were wearing masks.

Afghanistan is one of the most heavily mined countries in the world, a legacy of decades of conflict.

Baghlan province has seen fierce fighting in recent months, with near-daily battles between the Taliban and government forces in several districts.

Violence has surged across the country since May 1 when the US military began its final troop withdrawal.

In several districts where fighting has been intense in recent months, the insurgents have planted roadside bombs and mines to target government forces, but the explosives often kill and wound civilians.

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