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Afghan suicide attack kills nine

A district governor says at least nine people were killed following a suicide attack on a police checkpost in the southeastern district of Khost province of Afghanistan

AFP, Saturday 19 May 2012
An Afghan National Army soldier buys soft drinks in a shop while on patrol in Logar province, east Afghanistan, Thursday, May 17, 2012. (Photo: AP)

A suicide attack on a police checkpost in southeastern Afghanistan on Saturday killed at least nine people, three of them policemen, an official said.

The attacker shot a security guard before making his way inside the checkpost in the militant-hit Alisher district of Khost province, district governor Amir Badsha Dawran told AFP.

"The suicide blast killed three policemen and six civilians who were inside the checkpost at the time," Dawran said, adding that the locals were regularly holding "friendly" meetings with the local security forces.

At least four policemen were also wounded in the attack, which was claimed by Taliban insurgents. They said all the casualties were Afghan security forces.

Khost is a volatile province which borders the tribal area of Pakistan, known as a Taliban stronghold and a base for the Haqqani network.

The Taliban and other militants frequently target Afghan security forces as part of their campaign to bring down the western-backed Kabul government.
Civilians however bear the brunt of the decade-long war.

According to the United Nations, civilian deaths from the Afghan conflict reached a record-high last year, when 3,021 civilians died in the violence, with the Taliban blamed for the bulk of the casualties.

There are currently around 130,000 international troops in Afghanistan, two-third of them from the United States.

But the Afghan police and army are to take on more responsibility for security as foreign combat troops withdraw in a process due to be completed by the end of 2014.

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