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Taliban kill 5 police in southern Afghanistan

August 19, 2017 09:30 AM

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) — Taliban insurgents attacked a police checkpoint in the southern Helmand province, killing five Afghan police, provincial police officials said Saturday.

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Gen. Abdul Ghafar Safi, the provincial police chief, says six other policemen were wounded in the attack late Friday in Nawa district, where clashes were still underway early Saturday.

Taliban spokesman Qari Yusouf Ahmadi claimed responsibility for the attack.

In the neighboring Uruzgan province, the Taliban attacked a checkpoint in the provincial capital, Tarin Kot, killing a policeman and igniting clashes that killed 15 of the insurgents, according to Dost Mohammad Nayab, spokesman for the provincial governor. He said another three policemen were wounded.

The Taliban have stepped up their attacks since the U.S. and NATO formally concluded their combat mission at the end of 2014. In an "open letter" to U.S. President Donald Trump last week, the insurgent group reiterated its calls for the withdrawal of all remaining U.S. troops.

The United States has about 8,400 troops in Afghanistan, who support local forces and carry out counterterrorism operations.

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Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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