Posted at: 05/01/2013 10:19 AM
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - An Afghan government peace negotiator and two bodyguards have been killed in southern Afghanistan as they headed to a meeting to discuss plans for local troops to take over responsibility from the U.S-led coalition.
Officials say the three were killed when their convoy was hit by a bomb and automatic rifle fire. The attack took place in a district in Helmand province where Afghan forces will soon be in control. Officials say the deputy governor of the province was wounded.
The negotiator was the provincial director of the High Peace Council, a group formed by President Hamid Karzai to try to find ways to initiate peace talks with the Taliban.
The British Ministry of Defense says three of its soldiers were killed in the same province yesterday by a roadside bomb.
The U.S.-led coalition has been handing over responsibility for security to Afghan forces as foreign combat troops prepare to withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of next year. So far, the Afghan government is in charge of areas representing 80 percent of the country's population. It hopes to assume full control by the early summer.
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