Afghan truck bomb kills police officer: official

The suicide attacker drove his explosives-laden truck into the post in Urgun district of eastern Paktika province, killing a border police officer guarding the gate, provincial spokesman Mukhlis Afghan said.

"Three other suicide attackers dressed in military uniform who were trying to enter the station after the blast were shot and killed by the police," he said.

Urgun shares a border with Pakistan, where Afghan officials say Taliban militants carry out attacks across the border from North Waziristan, a fortress of Al-Qaeda-linked and other Islamist militant groups.

The militants left behind two pick-up trucks with signs reading "Islamic Emirate", the name for the Taliban's repressive 1996-2001 regime toppled in a US-led invasion.

A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Muhahid, claimed responsibility for the attack and said the truck was loaded with 7,000 kilograms (around 15,500 pounds) of explosives.

"Seven suicide attackers attacked the border police station and killed 20 Afghan police and foreign soldiers," he said, speaking by telephone from an undisclosed location. The militia routinely exaggerates its claims.

The Afghan interior ministry said three other insurgents fled the area after the attack and police were searching for them.

The Taliban-led insurgency, in its ninth year, is concentrated in the southern province of Kandahar, where most new arrivals of the US-led "surge" are being deployed.
The total number of foreign soldiers in Afghanistan is expected to peak at 150,000 by August.

The Taliban are becoming more aggressive in Kandahar, where a roadside bomb attack killed one civilian and wounded three children as a vehicle driven by staff of the Afghan intelligence agency was passing by, police said.

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