Code 171104
PublishDate: Tuesday, June 15, 201013:35

String of attacks leave 18 dead

(AP) —The Taliban have declared a summer offensive against NATO forces and those allied with the coalition or the Afghan government — ramping up attacks as NATO troops prepare operations in the Taliban heartland of southern Kandahar province.

The civilians were killed in two attacks — one a remote-controlled explosive that killed four people in southern Helmand province, and the second a roadside bomb that killed two others in western Herat province, the Interior Ministry said.

The police deaths occurred in a number of incidents in the east and south.

Militants attacked a police checkpoint in eastern Ghazni province before dawn Tuesday, killing five officers and wounding one, said Ghazni Deputy Police Chief Nawroz Ali Nawroz. He said the attackers overran the checkpoint north of Ghazni city and made off with weapons.

On Monday, militants attacked Afghan and NATO forces outside of Jalalabad city in the east. The resulting firefight left two police officers and five attackers dead, the Interior Ministry said.

Roadside bombs killed four police officers in eastern Wardak province and one in Kandahar province the same day, the ministry said.

Though NATO troops are harder targets than Afghan police, the international military force has also been taking heavy casualties. So far this month, 39 international forces have been killed in Afghanistan, 26 of them American.

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