One Amer­i­can, 11 Afghan po­lice of­fi­cers killed in attacks,

Austin American-Statesman - - FRONT PAGE -

KABUL, Afghanistan — Mil­i­tant attacks in north­ern Afghanistan killed at least 11 po­lice of­fi­cers, of­fi­cials said Sun­day.

In the south, NATO said a U.S. ser­vice mem­ber died Sun­day af­ter an in­sur­gent at­tack, and a com­bined coali­tion and Afghan pa­trol killed a se­nior Tal­iban com­man­der and a dozen other in­sur­gents who were dis­cov­ered plant­ing road­side bombs.

In­sur­gents as well as coali­tion forces have es­ca­lated attacks across the coun­try in re­cent months, as the NATOled force pours in 30,000 more U.S. troops in a new push to break the Tal­iban strongholds and es­tab­lish sta­ble Afghan gov­er­nance.

In­ter­na­tional and Afghan com­man­dos have been con­duct­ing raids al­most nightly to cap­ture or kill in­sur­gents, and the Tal­iban have launched attacks on army posts and lo­cal of­fi­cials and planted thou­sands of road­side bombs.

Also killed in north­ern Afghanistan on Sun­day was a govern­ment of­fi­cial whose car was hit by a re­mote-con­trolled bomb. The re­gion was once rel­a­tively calm, but mil­i­tants have be­come in­creas­ingly ac­tive in the past two years.

Es­tab­lish­ing se­cu­rity and trust in lo­cal au­thor­i­ties is a key to the NATO coun­terin­sur­gency strat­egy to de­feat the Tal­iban and even­tu­ally al­low in­ter­na­tional troops to with­draw.

In­sur­gents have been tar­get­ing po­lice and other of­fi­cials to un­der­mine the Afghan govern­ment and sow fear. Min­istry of In­te­rior spokesman Ze­meri Bashary said Sun­day that 23 Afghan po­lice of­fi­cers have been killed and 69 wounded in the past week.

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