4 Afghan police die in roadside bomb attack

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KABUL, Nov 4 (Reuters) A roadside bomb killed four Afghan policemen and wounded two more in the southwestern province of Ghazni today, a provincial official said.

Taliban insurgents have stepped up roadside bombs and suicide attacks in Afghanistan this year after suffering heavy casualties in clashes with foreign and Afghan troops.

''Six Afghan policemen were travelling in the Zana Khan district this afternoon when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb,'' said Mohammad Zaman, Ghazni's intelligence chief.

''Four soldiers were killed by the powerful blast instantly, and two other were seriously wounded'', he said.

Taliban militants have claimed responsibility for the attack as part of their campaign to overthrow the Afghan government and defeat Western troops.

Meanwhile, US-led coalition and Afghan police forces killed 25 Taliban insurgents in a battle in the Deh Rawood district of Uruzgan province on Saturday, the ministry of interior said in a statement.

Dutch and Australian and Afghan troops have launched a major operation in the volatile Uruzgan province to fight the Taliban Islamists before the onset of winter.

Elsewhere, Afghan troops killed four Taliban insurgents during a search operation in the Bala Morghab district of Badghis province yesterday, the ministry of defence said on Sunday.

The US military and Afghan forces say the coalition has killed hundreds of Taliban fighters in clashes and air strikes in recent months. The Taliban have admitted some losses, but say Afghan and foreign troops exaggerate the death toll.

Violence has surged in Afghanistan in the last two years, the bloodiest period since US and Afghan forces toppled the Taliban in 2001. More than 7,000 people have been killed during that period.

REUTERS ARB KN1946

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