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Bombs kill 3 NATO troops, 9 Afghans

KABUL — Roadside bomb attacks in Afghanistan killed three NATO service members and nine Afghans on Tuesday, officials said, clear evidence that the insurgents’ annual spring offensive is underway.

The service members died in southern Afghanistan, the US-led coalition in Afghanistan said in a brief statement that provided no other information.

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In another attack in the south of the country, a roadside bomb in the Shah Wali Kot district of Kandahar Province killed three civilians and wounded five, said Jawed Faisal, a spokesman for the provincial governor.

The Taliban and other insurgent groups make heavy use of roadside bombs. For
civilians, they are among the deadliest weapons in the Afghan war.

In the north, in Archi district in the province of Kunduz, a roadside bomb killed two people, including a local police commander who had been credited with reducing the number of insurgent attacks in his area, said Abdul Nazar, a local council member.

Commander Miran and his driver were killed and two other police officers were wounded when the car they were driving toward Kunduz City was destroyed by a bomb hidden on the road, said Nazar. Like many Afghans, Miran only used one name.

On Tuesday evening, a roadside bomb exploded in Uruzgan Province in central Afghanistan, killing four civilians in a car and wounding two, said police spokesman Fareed Ayal.

The attacks came on the third day of what the Taliban have called their spring offensive. The insurgents warned they would infiltrate enemy ranks to conduct ‘‘insider attacks’’ and target military and diplomatic sites with suicide bombers.

In past years, spring has marked a significant upsurge in fighting between the Taliban and NATO forces along with their local allies. This fighting season is a key test, as the international coalition is scheduled to hand over security responsibilities to Afghan forces next year.

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