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Suicide attack kills 21 Afghan police officers

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — At least 21 Afghan police officers were killed Monday in southern Afghanistan when a Taliban suicide bomber disguised as a policeman attacked a local police station, Afghan officials said.

The bombing occurred about 11:30 a.m. in the town of Tarin Kot in the southern province of Uruzgan. The bomber walked into a district police station and detonated a vest of explosives, apparently concealed beneath a stolen police uniform, said Hashim Watanwal, an Afghan Parliament member in Uruzgan.

At least 21 police officers were killed instantly and eight others were injured, Watanwal said. Seven of the injured men were listed in critical condition Monday afternoon.

The attack marked the second major Taliban suicide attack in as many days on security forces in Afghanistan. On Sunday, a suicide car bomber rammed his vehicle packed with explosives into a military convoy near the outskirts of the Afghan capital of Kabul, injuring three, including a French soldier.

Suicide bombings in and around the capital have increased in recent months with the deterioration of security in the neighboring provinces of Wardak and Logar, where insurgents have established a strong foothold.

More than 1,000 Afghan police officers have been killed since January 2007, according to Afghan government and U.S. military data. Several Afghan officers have been killed recently in "friendly fire" incidents in which Western troops have mistakenly fired on police contingents during operations.

Suicide attack kills 21 Afghan police officers 02/02/09 [Last modified: Monday, February 2, 2009 10:13pm]
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