updated 2/23/2009 2:47:00 PM ET 2009-02-23T19:47:00

Two suicide bombers blew themselves up within minutes of each other Monday at an anti-drug police station in southwest Afghanistan, killing one officer and wounding two more, an official said.

The first suicide attacker, wearing civilian clothes, approached the station in the southern city of Zarang at about 11 a.m., said Gov. Ghulam Dastagir Azad. When police shouted for the man to stop, he blew himself up, causing no casualties, the governor said.

Minutes later, a second attacker wearing a police uniform approached the building and blew himself up, Azad said. That blast killed one officer and wounded two.

Azad said the double suicide attack mirrored tactics used by eight militants in an assault against three government buildings in Kabul earlier this month that killed 20 people.

Taliban militants, whose hard-line Islamist regime was ousted from power by the 2001 U.S.-led invasion, have greatly increased attacks the last three years and now control wide swaths of territory. President Barack Obama this month announced the deployment of 17,000 additional U.S. forces to bolster the 38,000 American troops already in the country.

Obama has promised to increase the U.S. focus on Afghanistan as the country draws down its forces from Iraq.

In the western province of Badghis, meanwhile, Taliban militants attacked a police post late Sunday, and coalition air strikes were called in, killing at least seven insurgents, said Abdul Ghani Sabery, deputy governor of Badghis. He said village elders were continuing to collect bodies from the battle site and that the toll could rise.

With an election expected this summer, EU officials plan to send a mission to Afghanistan in coming weeks to see whether the country is safe enough for international observers.

The EU is planning to increase its police training mission in Afghanistan from 180 to 400. Several EU countries have also contributed troops to NATO's security mission there, although the U.S. has pressed for more.

Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg said the EU has "an important role to play" in helping Afghanistan carry out elections and bolster security.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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