Taliban attacks kill 7 policemen, 3 civilians


KABUL: Taliban insurgents killed seven policemen and three civilians in attacks across Afghanistan on Saturday, provincial officials said.

In eastern Ghazni province, Taliban killed three policemen and wounded seven others in attacks on security checkpoints, said a spokesman for the provincial police chief, Ahmad Khan Serat. The group claimed responsibility.

In the northern Sari Pul province, at least four policemen were killed when Taliban stormed a security checkpoint, a provincial official said.

Mohammad Noor Rahmani, head of the provincial council, said five others were wounded in the attack on the outskirts of the province’s capital city.

In eastern Nangarhar province, twin bomb blasts killed at least three civilians, said Attahullah Khogyani, a spokesman for the provincial governor. No militant groups immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks in Sari Pul and Nangarhar.

Such attacks, blamed on the Taliban, have continued in recent months, even as the militants hold talks with United States envoy Zalmay Khalilzad to negotiate an American troop withdrawal.

In a visit to Kabul earlier this week, Khalilzad lobbied for “intra-Afghan dialogue” talks that would encompass prominent Afghan figures, government representatives and the opposition, as well as the Taliban. The US envoy has held several rounds of talks with the Taliban, most recently last month in Qatar where both sides said progress was made.

But despite such talks, the Taliban continue to attack Afghan forces. The insurgents, who control half the country, refuse to talk directly with the government in Kabul, considering it a US puppet.