Suicide bomber wounds eight Afghan police

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LASHKAR GAH, Afghanistan, Sep 19 (Reuters) A suicide bomber wounded eight Afghan policemen today in an attack in the restive southern province of Helmand, the provincial police chief said.

Helmand is Afghanistan's most violent region with daily clashes between Taliban insurgents, who control large parts of the province, and Afghan, British and US forces. Helmand is also Afghanistan's biggest opium-producing province.

The bomber attacked a police vehicle near the town of Garmser, Helmand police chief Mohammad Hussein Andiwal told Reuters. Three of the officers were in a serious condition.

Elsewhere, two USled coalition soldiers were wounded on Tuesday when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb in the eastern province of Paktia, the US military said today.

Afghan troops killed three militants and detained four more in Wardak province, immediately southwest of the capital, Kabul, a Defence Ministry statement said.

The troops also defused two roadside bombs.

Afghanistan has seen a steady escalation of violence over the last two years, the worst since Afghan and US-led forces toppled the Taliban in 2001.

REUTERS SYU BST1246

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