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6 Afghan police killed at checkpoint

KABUL — Insurgents killed six police officers at a checkpoint and a suicide bomber killed three civilians at a shopping bazaar in separate attacks Sunday in eastern Afghanistan, while an independent security group warned 2013 is on track to be one of the most violent years of the war.

April already has been the deadliest month this year for security forces and Afghan and foreign civilians as the United States and other countries prepare to end their combat mission by the end of next year.

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According to an Associated Press tally, 222 people have been killed in violence around the nation this month, including Sunday’s nine fatalities.

The Taliban ambushed the checkpoint in the Dayak district of Ghazni Province, killing six police officers, wounding one, and leaving one missing, said Colonel Mohammad Hussain, deputy provincial police chief. The checkpoint was manned by Afghan local police.

On Friday, Taliban insurgents attacked a local police checkpoint in Andar, a district of Ghazni Province neighboring Dayak. They killed 13 officers, according to Sidiq Sidiqi, the Interior Ministry spokesman.

The second attack on Sunday hit Paktika Province, which borders Ghazni. A suicide bomber detonated his explosives in a shopping bazaar around midday, killing three people and wounding five civilians and two police officers, said Mokhlis Afghan, the spokesman for the provincial governor. Among the dead was Asanullah Sadat, who stepped down as the district’s governor two years ago.

Zabiullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing. In an e-mail to reporters, he said the Taliban used the bomber to target Sadat because of his close relations with the Afghan government and the United States.

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