Afghan insurgents step up attacks on police

Taliban militants carried out two attacks against Afghan security forces on Wednesday.

Kabul: Taliban militants carried out two attacks against Afghan security forces on Wednesday, targeting a police station and a border patrol in strikes that left nine people dead, officials said.

Meanwhile, NATO said insurgents killed two coalition service members in separate incidents in the country`s north and south.

In the deadliest attack against Afghan forces, Taliban militants assaulted a police station in Nad Ali district of Helmand province early Wednesday, killing four insurgents and two civilians, said Helmand province spokesman Daud Ahmadi.

Also in Helmand, a roadside bomb struck a border police car, killing three officers and wouding five more, said Ali Jan, the provincial head of the border police.

The attacks come two days after Taliban forces briefly overran a district seat in Ghazni province, torching government buildings. The 16 police officers stationed in the town disappeared; it is unclear whether they deserted or were captured.

The Afghan police are primarily a paramilitary force. Poor living conditions, high risk and bad leadership have all contributed to a high rate of attrition. Nearly one in four Afghan police leaves the force in a year, leaving the international coalition scrambling to recruit more and plug the gaps.

In separate incidents, NATO said insurgents killed one service member Wednesday in northern Afghanistan, while a roadside bomb killed another in the south.

The statement did not provide details of the attack or the slain service members` nationality.

Northern Afghanistan has traditionally been more stable but attacks and bombings in the region have increased in recent months after NATO and Afghan troops began pushing into the insurgency`s heartland in the south.

It`s unclear whether the southern operation is simply displacing Taliban insurgents into other parts of the country or whether the traditionally Pashtun insurgency has managed to build alliances with ethnic groups in the north.

Wednesday`s deaths bring the total number of NATO soldiers killed in Afghanistan this year to 609.


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