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Afghan official, 2 NATO troops die in attacks

Sep. 23, 2013 - 10:57AM   |  
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KABUL, AFGHANISTAN — An overnight Taliban assault on a border post in southern Afghanistan left 11 police officers dead, while in the north of the country gunmen assassinated a district intelligence chief on his way to work, officials said Monday.

Meanwhile, authorities in Romania said two of their soldiers serving with the NATO coalition in Afghanistan died in a roadside bombing in the east.

The Taliban have stepped up attacks on the security forces, officials and government employees during their spring offensive this year.

In the latest ambush, gunmen sprayed official Abdul Hussain with bullets as he was riding on his motorcycle Monday morning near the city of Kunduz, the capital of the province with the same name, according to local police chief Ghulam Mohayuddin.

Hussain, who was heading to his work in Chardara district, died of his wounds, said the police chief. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

An Afghan security official meanwhile said the Taliban have attacked a border police checkpoint in the country's south near the border with Pakistan, killing 11 policemen.

Gen. Tafser Khan of the southern border police said that the attack took place late Sunday night in the Shorabak district of Kandahar province, near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

A spokesman for the Taliban, Qari Yousef Ahamdi, claimed responsibility for the attack in a phone call to The Associated Press.

Khan says there was heavy fighting between police and insurgents, but the Taliban had more fighters and overcame the policemen. There were no reports on insurgent casualties.

Meanwhile, the Romanian Defense Ministry said two Romanian soldiers died after stepping on a bomb during a patrol in eastern Afghanistan on Sunday. The two were transported by helicopter to a military hospital near Kabul where they died of their injuries later in the day.

Defense Minister Mircea Dusa said in televised comments Monday that other soldiers were killed in the explosion but provided no further details. The two Romanians were identified as Vasile Popa, 28, on his second mission to Afghanistan, and Adrian Postelnicu, 34, who was on his first mission.

Romania has 1,029 troops serving in the NATO mission in Afghanistan; 22 have been killed.

In Kabul, NATO only said that a roadside bombing killed two international service members in the east on Sunday but gave no details on their nationality nor mentioned any other troops dying in the attack.

This incident brings the number of NATO troops killed this month to seven, while 122 have been killed so far this year, 92 of them Americans.

___

Associated Press writers Amir Shah in Kabul and Mirwais Khan in Kandahar contributed to this report.

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