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UPDATED: 21:03, January 01, 2006
Stinger missile explosion leaves 2 militants dead in Afghanistan
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Two suspected Taliban militants have been killed when an anti-aircraft stinger missile went off accidentally in Afghanistan's southern Kandahar province, an official at the Interior Ministry said Sunday.

"Some Taliban militias were busy in adjusting a Stinger missile against an aircraft in Kandahar province three days ago when suddenly it blew up, killing two on the spot," Dad Mohammad Rasa told Xinhua.

The incident, he added occurred in Sami hilltops of Maroof district on Friday.

This is the first time that Taliban militants have got access to Stinger missiles, which had been provided by the United States to the former Afghan Mujahidin, or resistance groups during the 1978-89 Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

Though, the Pentagon has bought back hundreds of the stingers from the ex-Afghan Mujahidin, dozens of the anti-aircraft missiles are said to have been hidden by some commanders in the post- conflict nation.

A spokesman of Taliban militants has said recently that the hard-line movement had acquired sophisticated weapons to use against the U.S.-dominated foreign troops in Afghanistan.

Taliban-led militancy claimed the lives of over 1,500 including more than 80 U.S. soldiers in 2005.

Source: Xinhua

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