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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 April 2007, 11:41 GMT 12:41 UK
Afghan soldiers killed in bombing
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Seven Afghan soldiers have been killed in a bombing in the south-eastern province of Paktika, officials say.

The soldiers were near the Pakistan border when their convoy was attacked. Late on Tuesday, three Afghan policemen were killed in western Herat province.

No group has said it carried out either attack, part of a wave of violence blamed on the Taleban and their allies.

Observers say the deaths highlight the role played by Afghan forces alongside better armed foreign troops.

Meanwhile, Afghan forces say at least 13 Taleban fighters were killed in the south and west on Tuesday.

'Taleban surrounded'

Provincial officials in Paktika said a remote-controlled bomb exploded under the soldiers' vehicle as they were travelling on a dirt road in Waza Khaw district.

In the Herat attack, officials said the police vehicle came under small arms fire in Guzara district south of the city of Herat.

Motorcycles on fire after bombing in Khost
There has been a string of attacks in recent days

"Three police were martyred in the attack and another four were wounded," provincial criminal investigation director Ali Khan told the AFP news agency.

The police had been guarding a hydro-electric dam under construction.

Meanwhile, in the southern province of Uruzgan, Afghan officials say troops are still encircling more than 200 Taleban insurgents.

Troops were sent in after Afghan forces apparently received information that senior Taleban commanders were meeting in a village in the province.

A Taleban spokesman denied that one of the movement's top commanders, Mullah Dadullah, was in the area.

Nato said it had no information about fighting in Uruzgan.

Violence

Bloodshed in Afghanistan has returned to levels not seen since the fall of the Taleban in 2001, with the parts of the south and east particularly hard-hit.

Analysts say the attacks are the Taleban's response to being squeezed by the build-up of foreign troops in the south and east and they are very difficult to prevent.

Some 4,000 people are believed to have died in 2006 in the insurgency - about a quarter of them civilians.

Observers are now predicting an increase in fighting with the end of winter.




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