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4 Afghan police killed in Taliban attacks

KABUL - Four Afghan policemen were killed Friday as the Taliban have stepped up their attacks against government and NATO troops to undermine the US-led coalition’s effort to build up Afghan forces so they can take the lead in the next few years.

The policemen died in three separate incidents in Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan, police officials said.

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One was killed when the Taliban attacked in Marjah district. A second died when a roadside bomb he was searching for exploded in Washer district. Two others were killed when their vehicle struck a roadside mine in Gereskh district.

In Kandahar Province, a fuel tanker overturned and caught fire, killing seven people, police said. Provincial police chief General Abdul Razaq said three other civilians were seriously wounded in the morning incident in Panjwai district.

The Taliban claimed they fired a rocket at the fuel tanker, causing it to explode. But Razaq said no rockets were fired. He said the tanker caught fire after it overturned and that a passing car was also set ablaze.

In northeastern Afghanistan, a suicide bomber assassinated the head of the peace council in Kunar Province, which works to bring Taliban fighters to the negotiating table. The bomber set off his explosives near Sayed Fazelullah Wahidi, who was walking home from Friday prayers with his son and a bodyguard in Watapoor district, said General Ewaz Mohammad Nazari, chief of police in Kunar.

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