At least five policemen have been killed and 12 wounded in two attacks in Afghanistan, officials said on February 13.
A Taliban suicide attacker detonated a car bomb near a security checkpoint in Afghanistan’s southern Kandahar province on February 13, wounding 12 policemen, the Interior Ministry said.
Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian said the attacker was identified and targeted before he could reach the checkpoint located in Kandahar's Arghandab district.
Five policemen were killed in a separate overnight attack in the Chapa Dara district of the eastern province of Kunar, provincial council member Mohammad Sapai said.
The attacks came amid a sharp increase in violence across Afghanistan despite the ongoing efforts for peace between the Western-backed government in Kabul and the Taliban.
Meanwhile, the Defense Ministry said that 30 Taliban militants were killed when a device exploded off during a bomb-making training session in Afghanistan’s northern Balkh Province -- a report disputed by a Taliban spokesman.
According to the ministry, six of those killed in the explosion at a mosque in the Dawlat Abad district were foreign nationals.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid confirmed the explosion but said that it had occurred in an empty room and caused no casualties.
Car bombs and roadside bombs are the Taliban’s weapons of choice.
Separately, Afghan officials reported that a gas tanker exploded on February 13 at a customs post in the western province of Herat on the Afghan-Iranian border -- igniting a massive fire that destroyed hundreds of other fuel and natural gas trucks.
Afghan officials said it was too early to determine the cause of the tanker explosion or the number of casualties from the incident.