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Taliban kill seven Afghan policemen: officials

A suicide attacker blows himself up at a district police headquarters in Afghanistan, killing two policemen in an attempt to assassinate the area police chief.

world Updated: Apr 23, 2008 13:17 IST

Two Afghan policemen died in a suicide bombing and five others were killed in a Taliban attack on a checkpost that also left several militants dead, officials said on Wednesday.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the suicide attack at the police headquarters of Gereshk district in the troubled southern province of Helmand early today.

The attacker detonated explosives strapped to his body as Gereshk police chief Khair Mohammad Shouja stepped out of the compound, Shouja said.

"The suicide attacker targeted me but I survived," he told AFP.

"Three of my guards are wounded and are being treated in the Gereshk district hospital and two are dead."

The three wounded were in a serious condition, said a doctor at the hospital, Tahir Rassouli.

Gereshk is a volatile area, lying on the main road that cuts across southern Afghanistan. It is a key centre in Helmand, the heart of Afghanistan's illegal drugs production and where the Taliban hold several districts.

A Taliban spokesman, Yousuf Ahmadi, said in a telephone call from an unknown location that the bomber was a member of the militia who came from Gereshk.

In another attack, Taliban rebels stormed a police post in the eastern province of Kunar late yesterday and killed five policemen, said a border unit commander, Esmatullah Safi.

Four other policemen were wounded in the attack near the border with Pakistan, he said.

Safi said several Taliban were also killed during a brief gunbattle with the rebels but could not give a figure.