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May 23, 3:15 AM EDT

Afghan officials: Taliban attacks on army in Kandahar, western district kills 8 soldiers, policeman


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KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- Afghan officials say Taliban attacks in the southern province of Kandahar and the western province of Badghis have killed at least eight soldiers and a policeman.

Defense Ministry spokesman Daulat Waziri says the attack on a military outpost in Kandahar's Shaha Wali Kot district late on Monday night killed eight troops and wounded seven. Waziri says at least 10 Taliban fighters died in the attack, with their bodies left lying on the ground.

In Baghdis, provincial Governor Anwar Ishaqzai says the Taliban assault took place early on Tuesday in Muqur district, killing one policeman and triggering a gunbattle that also left 11 insurgents dead.

A Taliban statement claims they captured the district's army and police headquarters.

The Taliban have stepped up their attacks since announcing their spring offensive last month.

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