Image: Soldier searches a young boy
Kevin Frayer  /  AP
A United States soldier from Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion of the 508 Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne, searches a young Afghan boy during a patrol in the village of Pir-e-Paymal in the volatile Arghandab Valley, outside Kandahar City, on Wednesday.
By Associated Press Writer
updated 7/8/2010 5:14:35 PM ET 2010-07-08T21:14:35

Three international troops died in insurgent attacks and a senior Afghan police official was assassinated, officials said Thursday as violence spiraled across the country.

NATO also said it captured a suspected Taliban-linked supplier of bomb-making materials overnight in an eastern province, as the international security force steps up operations in the south and east, boosted by thousands of new American troops sent to try to turn around the nearly 9-year-old war.

The force said an American service member was killed by an insurgent attack in eastern Afghanistan on Thursday. Two other service members, whose nationalities were not released, died in separate roadside bomb attacks in the south. No other details were available.

So far this month, 22 international troops have died in Afghanistan. Last month was the deadliest for foreign forces since the war began, with 103 killed, including 60 Americans.

Violence has been increasing across the country as the U.S. has poured in 30,000 more troops to try to reverse Taliban gains, improve security and build up the government of President Hamid Karzai.

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Government officials have been increasingly targeted by the Taliban, which has waged an entrenched insurgency since its extreme Islamist government was toppled by U.S.-backed forces in 2001.

On Wednesday evening, Mohammad Gul, the police intelligence director for western Kabul, was ambushed and killed by gunmen outside his home as he returned from his office, said the city's criminal investigations chief, Abdul Ghfar Sayed Zada. One of his two bodyguards also was killed.

Gul was in charge of preventing terrorist attacks and tracking down suspected insurgents in the western quarter of the capital, Zada said.

The insurgents seek to kill Afghan officials to undermine government support and sow fear. More than 100 government figures were targeted last year, at least half of them killed.

In the eastern province of Khost, a combined Afghan-international force captured a suspected explosives supplier for the Haqqani network, a powerful militant group with links to both the Taliban and al-Qaida, NATO said in a statement.

The security force also arrested several other insurgents in the Wednesday night raid in Terayzai district, where they found a cache of automatic weapons, ammunition and grenades, the alliance said, adding that no shots were fired and no civilians were harmed.

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