KANDAHAR, Afghanistan – Taliban militants killed eight police officers Sunday in an attack on a checkpoint in southern Afghanistan, while a suicide bomber killed another policeman in a separate attack, officials said.
The militants stormed the police checkpoint in Maywand district of Kandahar province, said Sadullah Khan, a police officer in neighbouring Neven district.
After the attack, the militants took two police vehicles and the officers’ weapons, Khan said.
In neighbouring Helmand province, a suicide bomber with explosives strapped to his body tried to enter the house of a regional police commander in a housing compound in the town of Lashkar Gah, said provincial police chief Mohammad Hussain Andiwal.
Guards challenged the man, who then blew himself up, killing one policemen and wounding two children, four civilians and two other police officers, Andiwal said.
No Canadian soldiers are based in Helmand province.
More than 925 Afghan police died in Taliban ambushes and bombings in 2007. The police appear to be more vulnerable to militant attacks because they work in smaller groups than Afghan army troops and are not as well trained, officials say.
Militants have also launched more than 140 suicide attacks against Afghan government troops and officials as well as foreign forces over the past year. Most of the victims have been civilians.
A day earlier, two Dutch soldiers – a 20-year old private and a 22-year old corporal – were killed and another was wounded in separate incidents in southern Afghanistan, the Netherlands’ Defence Ministry said Sunday.
The Dutch soldiers died during a firefight with “opposing militant forces” in Uruzgan province, the Ministry said.
The injured soldier suffered wounds to both legs and is expected to survive, the ministry said.
About 1,650 Dutch troops were deployed in Uruzgan as part of the NATO mission there. Fourteen Dutch troops have died since their mission began last year.
The soldiers’ families have been informed, but their names have not yet been released, the ministry said.
Two Afghan soldiers were killed later the same evening in more fighting in Uruzgan, the ministry said.
In neighbouring Kandahar province, where about 2, 500 Canadian soldiers are based, three Taliban were killed Saturday in a battle with Afghan and foreign troops, Asadullah Khalid, the provincial governor, said.
Two other Taliban fighters were detained during the same operation in Panjwayi district, Khalid said. There were no casualties among Afghan and foreign troops, he said.