KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A police chief and two other officers were killed Thursday when a roadside bomb exploded while they were on a demining mission in Afghanistan, as two army officers were killed in a separate shooting attack, officials said.
Mohammad Qasim, police chief for the Waghaz district in the southern Gazni province, had gone with other officers to remove a roadside bomb planted by Taliban insurgents, district governor Abdul Azim Farooqi said. When they removed the bomb another mine concealed under it exploded, killing Qasim and two other officers. Another policeman was wounded in the blast.
In a separate incident, gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire on a car carrying Afghan army personnel in the western city of Herat, killing two officers and wounding three others, said Mohammad Nadir Fahimi, the deputy provincial police chief. He said police were searching for the assailants.
In eastern Afghanistan, a soldier from the U.S.-led military coalition was killed by enemy fire, according to a statement from the International Security Assistance Force, which did not identify the soldier or provide his or her nationality.
The Taliban have intensified their spring offensive in a bid to undermine the Western-backed government as foreign combat troops prepare to withdraw from the country by the end of the year.
The latest attacks came a day after a bomb placed in a thermos bottle exploded at a market in northern Afghanistan, killing two men and a woman, and wounding 12 other civilians, including four women and a child, according to a local official.
Roadside bombings are a major threat to both security forces and civilians in Afghanistan. Such attacks have escalated as the Taliban have stepped up their campaign ahead of the withdrawal of U.S.-led forces.