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Former Gitmo detainee killed in Afghanistan

A senior Taliban commander who had been released from the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was killed Saturday in Uruzgan province, Afghan officials said.

The commander, Maulavi Ghaffar, had spent eight months in the Guantanamo prison, said interior minister Ali Jalali. Ghaffar had been captured after fighting for the Taliban in northern Afghanistan, Jalali said.

After Ghaffar's release more than a year ago, he was appointed the Taliban's regional commander in Uruzgan and Helmand provinces, said Jan Mohammad Khan, the governor of Uruzgan province. The governor said Ghaffar had carried out attacks against U.S. Special Forces soldiers and an attack on a district chief in Helmand. Three Afghan soldiers were killed in that attack.

The governor said that on Friday, officials learned that Ghaffar planned to attack the police in Chachani district, and instead the Afghan forces killed him and two of his men.

Officials in Afghanistan and the United States have indicated in the past that at least five Afghan detainees released from Guantanamo had returned to Afghanistan and again become Taliban commanders or fighters.

Swiss voters reject naturalization changes

GENEVA _ Dashing the chance for almost 200,000 youngsters to get citizenship easily, voters in Switzerland rejected two government proposals to loosen tough naturalization rules in a referendum Sunday.

Nearly 57 percent of voters opposed granting automatic citizenship to third-generation children born to immigrant families. In a slightly closer result, nearly 52 percent rejected easing naturalization rules for first- and second-generation residents raised and schooled in Switzerland.

French prime minister wins Senate seat

PARIS _ Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin won a seat in French Senate elections Sunday, a post that could be a useful fallback if there is truth to the rumors that his days as government chief are numbered.

Sitting ministers are not allowed to hold positions in both the executive and legislative branches of government, but they can prepare for the future by running for Senate, appointing a member of the party faithful to fill the seat and reclaiming it later in the term.

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