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Three Police Killed In Taliban Suicide Attack In Southeast Afghanistan


FILE: An Afghan Police officer inspects the scene of a bomb blast that targeted a police vehicle in Ghazni, June 2017.

At least three police officers have been killed and 12 wounded in a Taliban suicide bombing in Afghanistan.

A police spokesman said the July 27 explosion targeted a district police headquarters in southeastern Ghazni Province.

He said the Taliban, who control much of the province, used a stolen military Humvee in the attack in the Ab Band district.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the bombing.

The latest violence in Afghanistan comes days after more than 50 people were killed on July 25 in a string of attacks -- claimed both by the Taliban and the Islamic State extremist group (IS) -- in three provinces, including the capital, Kabul.

Violence in Afghanistan has spiked in recent weeks as both Afghan forces and Taliban militants attempt to increase their leverage in ongoing peace talks.

U.S. and Taliban representatives have held several rounds of peace talks since last year and Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan, is currently in Kabul to consult on the next steps in the process ahead of a new round of talks in Qatar next week.

While no agreement has been reached, both sides have reported progress in the talks. The Taliban, however, has refused to meet with Kabul government officials whom they regard as U.S. puppets.

The Taliban control or contest around half of the country, controlling more territory than at any time since the U.S.-led invasion in 2001 ousted the group from power.

A U.S. intelligence official based in Kabul told the AP news agency that IS was an even bigger threat.

The official, who discussed terrorist threats only on condition of anonymity, said recent IS attacks in Kabul are "practice runs" for more substantial ones in the future.

With reporting by AP and dpa

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