Taliban suicide squad kills three Afghan police

Three suicide bombers hit a training area for new Afghan Local Police force.

Khost: Three Afghan policemen were killed on Thursday when Taliban militants struck at a police training centre in the second suicide attack to hit eastern Afghanistan in as many days.

The incident in Paktia province, which borders Pakistan, was one of three suicide strikes targeting government officials or the military across Afghanistan early Thursday.

Insurgents are stepping up attacks on Afghan security forces, whose role will increase as US-led NATO troops prepare to hand over responsibility for security in seven areas from July and prepare to withdraw by 2014.

"Three suicide bombers attacked the local police training centre in Aryoob Zazai district," said Rohullah Samoon, a spokesman for the Governor`s office.

"One of the attackers managed to detonate his suicide vest, as a result of which two local police and one national policeman were killed and two national policemen were injured.”

"The second suicide attacker was gunned down before blowing up himself. The third attacker escaped and police are looking for him," he added.

It came just one day after a suicide bomber killed 10 people, including a well-known elder, at a tribal gathering in the eastern province of Kunar.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for Thursday`s attack, as well as for a bombing 20 kilometres (12 miles) southeast of Kabul which targeted the office of a senior local official, injuring four people including three police.

"A suicide attacker detonated an explosive-laden small truck in front of the office of the Musayi district chief this morning," Kabul police spokesman Hashmat Stanikzai said.

"Three policemen and a civilian passer-by have been injured in the blast."

Limited withdrawals of international troops are due to start in seven areas of Afghanistan, including the bulk of Kabul province, from July ahead of the planned end of international combat operations in 2014.

A third suicide attack on Thursday injured three people, including two women, in the Taliban heartland city of Kandahar in the south.

Police said the intended target was a US military convoy but the attacker was identified before he could get near it and blew himself up prematurely.

The east and south of Afghanistan are the worst flashpoints in the nearly 10-year Taliban-led insurgency against the government in Kabul and around 130,000 international troops based in the country.

Both border Pakistan, where Taliban and al Qaeda-linked networks have rear bases and retreats in the lawless tribal belt that Washington has branded the most dangerous place on Earth.

A recent spike of bombings has targeted Afghan police, who will take increasing responsibility for security from US-led NATO troops.

Last week, six Afghan security personnel were killed in Kandahar in a Taliban attack on a police centre and a suicide bomber blew himself up near an Afghan army bus in Kabul, wounding 10 people.

Bureau Report

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