Taliban kill 12 Afghan policemen, troops in separate attacks

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KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Taliban targeted the police on Tuesday in Afghanistan's eastern Laghman province, killing four police officers, including a district police chief, provincial officials said.

The attack came just hours after the insurgents struck security checkpoints in northeastern Takhar province's Khwaja Bahaudin district late on Monday night, killing eight members of the security forces — three soldiers and five policemen.

In the Laghman attack, Arif Sadat, district police chief in Alingar district, was killed along with three others when his vehicle exploded near the district police headquarters, said Asadullah Dawlatzai, the provincial governor's spokesman.

Four other officers were wounded in the attack, said Dawlatzai. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing but Dawlatzai blamed the Taliban who are active in the province and especially in Alingar district.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the Takhar attack, which took place in Khwaja Bahaudin district, according to Wafiullah Rahmani, head of the provincial council.

The insurgents stage near-daily attacks on Afghan forces, even as peace efforts have accelerated to find an end to the country's 17-year war.

In another report, from western Farah province, coalition forces on Sunday carried out airstrikes against Taliban-run heroin labs, killed 15 laborers, said Dadullah Qaneh, councilman in Farah.

But Mohibullah Mohib, the provincial police chief's spokesman, said those killed in Bakwa district were all members of the Taliban.

The Taliban run most of Afghanistan's drug trade and control vast opium poppy fields.

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