KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Suspected Taliban militants led a string of attacks on police and civilians across northern and eastern Afghanistan on Sunday, killing at least 14 people, security officials said.
The violence reflects the militants' persistent campaign against Afghanistan's Western-backed government, which last month signed separate security agreements with the United States and NATO allowing over 10,000 foreign troops to train and advise Afghan forces after the international combat mission ends at the end of the year.
In Mazar-e-Sharif, capital of the northern Balkh province, two gunmen dressed in police uniforms stormed into the province's police headquarters and opened fire, killing two officers, said Sher Jan Durani, a spokesman for the provincial police chief. Police intercepted the attackers at a second security gate inside the compound, and shot them dead, he said. Nine other policemen were wounded during the gun battle.
Separately, Taliban attacked a police checkpoint in Monogai district of eastern Kunar province, killing three police officers and wounding three others, an Interior Ministry statement said. Six Taliban militants were killed and six others wounded in the battle.
In the Alishing district of eastern Laghman province, a rocket fired by militants killed three construction company workers, said Sarhadi Zwak, a spokesman for the provincial governor.
A car bomber carried out a suicide attack in eastern Wardak province, killing three civilians and three army soldiers in a strike that blew out several vehicles, said Attahullah Khogyani, a spokesman for the provincial governor. Six other civilians and two other soldiers were wounded in the attack in Sayed Abad district.
More than a decade after U.S. forces helped topple the Taliban in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, Afghanistan is still at war with the Islamic militant group, which regularly carries out attacks, mainly targeting security forces. The Taliban have stepped up their attacks on Afghan security forces as many foreign combat troops prepare to withdraw by year-end.