24 Afghans killed in attacks by militants

From the Associated Press

Roadside bombings and insurgent attacks Tuesday killed 24 people, including 13 police officers, and U.S.-led coalition operations killed several militants, officials said.

In the southern province of Kandahar, Taliban insurgents killed nine police officers in a two-pronged attack before dawn in Shorabak district, said provincial Police Chief Sayed Agha Saqib.

Insurgents first attacked a police checkpoint, killing five officers, Saqib said. Two roadside bombs then hit two vehicles carrying police reinforcements, killing four more officers and wounding three.

Another roadside bomb in Lowgar province, south of Kabul, killed four officers, said Deputy Police Chief Abdul Majid Latifi.

Militants regularly target the country's fledgling police force, which is seen as weaker than the better-trained and equipped Afghan army. At least 72 police officers were killed in April.

In the western province of Farah, a roadside bomb hit a bus Tuesday, killing eight civilians and wounding one, said Deputy Gov. Younus Rasuli.

In Kandahar, a Taliban insurgent was planting a mine under a bridge when it prematurely exploded, killing the militant and three children playing nearby, Saqib said.

U.S.-led coalition troops, meanwhile, killed "several militants" Tuesday during two separate operations in the eastern province of Paktia and Helmand province in the south.

More than 1,200 people -- mostly militants -- have died in insurgency-related violence so far this year, according to a count by the Associated Press.

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