Page last updated at 07:54 GMT, Thursday, 26 March 2009

Afghan attack kills nine police


Nine policemen have been killed in a suspected Taleban militant attack on a checkpoint in southern Afghanistan's Helmand province, police say.

The attack took place in the Nahari Sarraj district, they said.

Helmand is a Taleban stronghold and a large number of international and Afghan troops are based there.

Suspected militants also ambushed a police vehicle in Ghazni province. Seven policemen were injured and four attackers killed, police said.

New strategy

A senior police officer told the BBC the Helmand attack on the Helmand-Kandahar highway took place early in the morning.

Afghanistan's interior ministry blamed it on the "enemies of Afghanistan" - a common reference to Taleban militants.

In the Ghazni attack, militants ambushed a convoy carrying a Taleban detainee and a 30-minute gunfight ensued.

Four of the wounded police were in critical condition, doctors said.

Militant attacks are on the increase with the advent of spring.

The country is awaiting the unveiling by US President Barack Obama of a new strategy for US and Nato forces.

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