Four Afghan police, soldiers killed in new attacks

AFP – Fresh attacks claimed the lives of four more members of Afghanistan’s fledgling security forces as officials said Tuesday a dozen more insurgents were killed in various clashes.

The latest unrest, daily fare in a growing insurgency, came as the German foreign minister met President Hamid Karzai for talks likely to touch on a Taliban suicide bombing that killed three German soldiers at the weekend.

In one of the new attacks, two Afghan soldiers were killed when a bomb struck their vehicle in the eastern province of Khost, army commander General Sami ul-Haq Badar told AFP. Another was wounded.

A district chief in the southern province of Kandahar said meanwhile that a policeman was killed in fighting that erupted overnight after Taliban fighters attacked a police checkpost.

Ten of the attackers were also killed in the battle in Zhari district, said the official, named only Khairuddin. The claim could not be independently verified.

In nearby Kandahar city on Tuesday a remote-controlled bomb killed a border policeman and wounded three more, border police chief General Abdur Razeq said. Three civilians were wounded.

Separately Taliban-led insurgents attacked another police check post early Tuesday in the eastern province of Paktia and two were killed, provincial police chief Abdul Rahman Sarjang said.

“Their bodies were recovered,” the police commander said.

Afghanistan’s security forces, being rebuilt with international assistance after the destruction of decades of war, are on the frontline of the insurgency, suffering regular attacks.

More than 150 members of the forces have been killed in attacks this year, according to a rough AFP tally.

Around 60 foreign troops involved in the international mission to put Afghanistan on its feet and defeat insurgents have also lost their lives, including three German soldiers killed in a suicide bombing in the northern city of Kunduz on Saturday.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier visited the small town before travelling to Kabul for talks with Karzai.

Germany has around 3,000 soldiers in Afghanistan, operating largely in the north of the country which sees less violence than the south.

It has reaffirmed its commitment to the troubled country after the weekend attack but resisted calls to send its soldiers to the south, where the fighting is most intense and British, Canadian, Dutch and US troops are under pressure.

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