Three Afghan police killed by Taliban car bomb
The attack highlights the tense security situation in parts of Kandahar.
Kandahar: Three policemen were killed on Monday in a car bombing claimed by the Taliban in southern Afghanistan`s troubled Kandahar province, near the border with Pakistan, police said.
The attack comes three days after a Taliban suicide bomber killed a police commander and 16 others at a public bath in the same district of Spin Boldak. That was the deadliest attack in Afghanistan since October.
"A car bomber approached the national police patrol cars and smashed his car into the police vehicles, killing three policemen and destroying the vehicle," General Abdul Raziq, chief of Kandahar`s border police, said.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which took place on a remote highway between Spin Boldak and Takhapul.
Witnesses said police removed the bodies and cleaned the road shortly after the attack, which happened at around 10:00 am (0530 GMT).
The attacks on Monday and last week highlight the tense security situation in parts of Kandahar -- the Taliban`s spiritual home -- despite its being the focus of an international military strategy to reverse their momentum.
Spin Boldak is a short distance from the border with Pakistan, where US officials say the Taliban and al Qaeda-linked insurgents use bases to plot attacks in Afghanistan and the West.
There are currently some 140,000 international troops in Afghanistan fighting an insurgency spearheaded by the Taliban, who were ousted from power in a US-led invasion in 2001.
US Defense Secretary Robert Gates last week ordered an extra 1,400 US Marines to the south in a bid to pre-empt the Taliban`s traditional spring offensive, which is expected in April or May.
That came on top of an extra 30,000 troops for Afghanistan ordered by President Barack Obama in late 2009 as part of a surge strategy to try to arrest the Taliban`s increasing momentum.
In a review of the strategy published last month, Obama said the surge was working, but stressed that gains were fragile.
Limited international troop withdrawals are due to begin in July before responsibility for security is handed to Afghan security forces in 2014.
Afghanistan`s Interior Ministry says that 1,292 policemen were killed battling the Taliban and other insurgents last year.
Three people including one policeman were killed in a bombing in Kandahar city at the end of last month which apparently targeted police queuing to receive their salaries.
Elsewhere in Afghanistan on Monday, international forces said they were investigating a possible friendly fire incident in the central Day Kundi province in which three Afghan policemen were killed.