Twin blasts hit Afghan police HQ, two dead, 29 wounded

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (Reuters) – Two suicide bombers detonated explosives inside the headquarters of the main police station in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar on Sunday, killing two policemen and wounding 29 people, police said.

The blasts occurred hours after a suicide bomber blew himself up in an attack on an Italian convoy in western Herat on Sunday, but there were no casualties.

A senior border police commander, Abdul Razaaq, was among the 25 officers who were wounded in the Kandahar explosions, police chief Matiuallah told reporters. The others wounded were civilians.

Police cordoned off the roads leading to the police headquarters.

The attack is the latest in worsening violence in recent months in Afghanistan where the al Qaeda-backed Taliban have made a comeback.

About 2,500 people, including 1,000 civilians, have been killed in fighting in the first six months this year, aid agencies say.

Earlier, officials said that U.S.-led soldiers, backed by air support, and Afghan police killed more than 20 Taliban fighters in two separate clashes.

A U.S. military statement said its forces killed more than 10 insurgents during an operation in the southeast province of Khost on Saturday, and did not mention any casualties on its side.

In Helmand, a southern province also regarded as a Taliban stronghold, militants lost 10 men in an assault on a police post, provincial police chief Mohammad Hussein Andiwal said. Four police were wounded defending their post.

The Taliban could not be reached immediately for comment about any of the incidents.

Ousted from power in 2001 after refusing to surrender its al Qaeda guests, the Taliban militia intensified a campaign in 2005 to drive out foreign forces and bring down President Hamid Karzai’s government.

Suicide bombers and roadside bomb attacks, ambushes and kidnapping are the guerrillas’ favored tactics.

On Saturday, the Taliban abducted four Afghan employees of a security firm in Maidan Wardak province, on the main highway southwest of Kabul, a provincial official said.

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