Seven Afghan police killed amid fresh attacks


A powerful roadside bomb has killed seven policemen in western Afghanistan as forces were engaged in a deadly battle with large groups of Taliban fighters who attacked police checkpoints in the south, officials have said. The policemen died when their vehicle hit the explosive device planted in the road in the Chishti Sharif district of Herat province on Tuesday morning, police said. Sher Agha, the district police chief, said that the explosion was so strong that the police truck was obliterated in the blast in Obey district and there were no survivors. There was no claim of responsibility for the deadly assault on the policemen, who were guards of the Salma dam project and were on their way to Herat city. However, similar bombs have often been blamed on the Taliban. The blast came as a spokesman for the Helmand governor said the Taliban launched attacks in the Sangin district of Helmand province.
Conflicting reports: However, there were conflicting reports on how many Taliban fighters were involved in the latest assaults. Our correspondent said local officials on the ground told Al Jazeera the Taliban attacked police checkpoints about 5am on Monday and took over three checkpoints. However, the officials said Afghan security forces had called in reinforcements and Afghan national police and the Afghan army had driven the Taliban back. “What is agreed between the Taliban and the Afghan government is that this is the largest Taliban attack in their spring offensive that they launched last month,” Glasse said.