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Eleven police killed in attacks in Afghanistan

Afghan police search passengers at a checkpoint in Helmand

At least 11 Afghan policemen were killed on Sunday when Taliban fighters attacked two checkpoints in the volatile southern province of Helmand, authorities said.

The assaults were the latest in a series of deadly attacks claimed by the Taliban on Afghan police and troops.

Taliban insurgents launched the assaults in the early morning in the Qalai Sang area of the provincial capital Lashkar Gah.

“Our police fought them back, but unfortunately 11 of our police were martyred and two wounded,” provincial governor Hayatullah Hayat told AFP, adding that the militants fled after the attack.

Provincial police chief Ghafar Safi said 15 Taliban fighters were also killed during the skirmish.

After 16 years of war the resurgent militants show no signs of fatigue, ramping up their campaign against beleaguered government forces.

Afghan police and troops — beset by a high death toll, desertions and non-existent “ghost soldiers” on the payroll — have been struggling to beat back the insurgents since US-led NATO troops ended their combat mission in December 2014.

Also on Sunday, a suicide car bomb attack on NATO forces in neighbouring Kandahar province killed at least one woman and wounded four other Afghan civilians, General Abdul Razeq, the provincial police chief, told AFP.

NATO confirmed the attack and said there were no victims among its personnel.

“We can confirm a suicide bomber attempted an attack on a patrol in Kandahar, Afghanistan today. However, there were no fatalities or injuries sustained by coalition forces,” said Captain Tom Gresback, a spokesman for the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan, Resolute Support.

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