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At Least 17 Police Reported Killed In Afghanistan

Afghan security officials take positions during a gunbattle with in Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital of Helmand province on May 13.

Afghan officials say at least 17 police officers have been killed after militants ambushed checkpoints in the country's volatile southern Helmand Province.

The attacks reported took place late on June 12 at checkpoints in the Musa Qala district, a Taliban stronghold, and wounded at least 10 other officers.

Officials say the Taliban, which claimed responsibility for the attacks, also suffered casualties.

Taliban militants have been targeting vulnerable police checkpoints across the country since launching a new offensive in April.

Afghan forces are fighting alone this year as the U.S. and NATO have ended their combat mission, and their casualties are soaring.

Between January 1 and May 7, more than 2,300 army, police, and local police personnel have been killed, according to NATO.

This is a 53 percent increase over the same period last year.

Based on reporting by AP and dpa