Eleven killed in attacks on police in Afghanistan

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Palestinian demonstrators gesture as they stand on a trash container during clashes with Israeli forces near an Israeli checkpoint in the West Bank city of Ramallah on December 16, 2017, following the US president’s controversial recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. ABBAS MOMANI / AFP

At least 11 Afghan police officers were killed on Sunday when Taliban fighters assaulted their checkpoints in volatile Helmand province in southern Afghanistan, authorities said.

The assaults on two police post are the latest in a series of deadly attacks on Afghan security forces claimed by the Taliban.

Taliban insurgents launched the attacks in the early morning in the Qalai Sang area of the provincial capital Lashkar Gah.

“Our police fought them back, but unfortunately 11 of our police were martyred and two wounded,” provincial governor Hayatullah Hayat told AFP, adding that the militants fled after the attack.

Provincial police chief Ghafar Safi said 15 Taliban fighters were also killed during the skirmish.

After 16 years of war the resurgent militants show no signs of fatigue, ramping up their campaign against beleaguered government forces, underscoring rising insecurity in the war-torn country.

Afghan police and troops beset by a high death toll, desertions and non-existent “ghost soldiers” on the payroll — have been struggling to beat back the insurgents since US-led NATO troops ended their combat mission in December 2014.

Also on Sunday, a suicide car bomb attack targeting NATO forces in neighbouring Kandahar province killed at least one woman and wounded four other Afghan civilians, General Abdul Razeq, the provincial police chief, told AFP.

A NATO spokesman in Kabul told AFP they were still checking reports concerning the attack.