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Apr 23, 8:15 AM EDT

Officials say Taliban kill 5 Afghan police officers in attack on checkpoint in volatile south

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KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- Officials in Afghanistan say five police officers have been killed in a Taliban attack on a checkpoint in the country's volatile south.

A spokesman for the Kandahar provincial police, Zia Durani, said Wednesday that Taliban insurgents raided the police post late the previous evening in Ghorak district. He did not elaborate.

The Taliban did not immediately claim responsibility for the attack. Their Kandahar spokesman could not be immediately reached.

Afghan security forces are frequently targeted by the insurgents, who last week killed at least four other police officers from Kandahar who were traveling in Wardak province on their way to Kabul, the capital.

Violence has intensified in Afghanistan in the months before the April 5 presidential election as most international troops prepare to withdraw at the end of the year.

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