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At least 13 killed in spate of Afghan attacks

Image: Injured victims of Spin Boldak suicide attack receives treatment at Chaman hospital.
Pakistani paramedics treat an injured boy from a suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan's Spin Boldak town on Wednesday. The attacker blew himself up while being followed by security forces, killing three civilians and wounding 14 people. Matiullah Achakzai / EPA
/ Source: The Associated Press

A spate of suicide bombings and other attacks on security forces in southern Afghanistan Wednesday left 13 people dead and 24 others wounded, officials said.

In Kandahar province, a suicide bomber blew himself up next to a vehicle carrying intelligence agents in the border town of Spin Boldak, killing three civilians, Kandahar Gov. Assadullah Khalid said.

Two children and three intelligence agents were among the 14 hurt, Khalid said. He blamed the Taliban for the attack.

In neighboring Helmand province, a suicide bomber struck a police convoy, killing two officers and wounding three, said district police chief Khairudin Shuhja. Shuhja was in the convoy but was not injured in the attack.

As the bomber approached the car, guards opened fire, wounding the attacker, who then blew himself up, Shuhja said.

Southern Afghanistan is the center of the Taliban-led insurgency. Militants regularly use suicide attacks in their fight against Afghan and foreign troops in the country, but most victims are civilians.

In eastern Kunar province, Taliban militants attacked a police border post, killing five officers and wounding seven others, said provincial police chief Abdul Jalal Jalal.

Separately, a border police patrol in northwestern Badghis province hit a mine, killing three officers riding in the vehicle, regional police chief Gen. Khalil Andarabi said.

Militants regularly target the police force, which is seen as weaker than the better trained and equipped national army.

More than 900 policemen were among the 8,000 people killed last year in insurgency-related violence, officials said. The high death toll comes despite some $4 billion the U.S. has spent to train and equip the police in the last three years.