Security is tight in the Afghan capital, Kabul, on the eve of the inauguration of the country's first parliament in more than 30 years. Police and troops were deployed days ahead of the Monday ceremony, during which 351 new lawmakers will be sworn in by President Hamid Karzai.
The event will be attended by many foreign dignitaries, including U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney. Concerns that the Taleban insurgents could disrupt the opening of a landmark parliamentary session were heightened after rebels attacked a police checkpoint near Kandahar overnight, killing three policemen. A Taleban insurgent was also killed in the ambush. Meanwhile, France's Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie, visiting Kabul on Sunday, said Paris will increase the number of its troops in Afghanistan in 2006 when NATO expands operations there.