KABUL (Reuters) – Three policemen were killed by a land mine planted by Taliban insurgents in a police post in the Afghan capital on Wednesday, a police official said.
The blast occurred as a group of officers were investigating the killing of three other policemen at the post in an overnight Taliban attack, he told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
Several other police and senior city officer Ali Shah Paktiawal were wounded in the blast on the city’s western outskirts, the official said.
The Taliban said in a statement that the militant group was behind both incidents, adding that they were part of the Islamist militants’ focus on launching attacks in Kabul.
Taliban militants have closed in on the Afghan capital in the past year, making travel to the west, south and east of the city dangerous for aid workers and government officials.
Earlier, a police officer said Paktiawal was the target of the blast. Paktiawal heads the criminal investigation department of Kabul police and has survived several attempts on his life.
U.S.-led and Afghan forces overthrew the Taliban’s radical Islamist rule in 2001 for refusing to hand over al Qaeda leaders behind the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.
But the militants regrouped and have extended the size and scope of their attacks despite the rising number of foreign and Afghan forces, currently around 220,000.
They are mostly active in southern and eastern areas where frustration is high among many over civilian casualties caused by Afghan and foreign troops, the slow pace of economic change and the perception of a lack of representation in the central government.
Separately, foreign forces killed three civilians and wounded 11 more in an air strike on Tuesday in the Manogai district of eastern Kunar province, district chief Mohammad Rahman Daish told reporters.
Foreign troops under NATO and the U.S. military operate in the province and both have yet to comment on the report, the latest in a string of rising civilian casualties that has diminished support for foreign forces in Afghanistan.