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Taliban kill three police in Afghan 'spring offensive'

29 April, 2013

GHAZNI: Insurgents killed three police officers in Afghanistan on Sunday, officials said, in an attack that the Taliban claimed marked the start of their annual "spring offensive".

A roadside bomb blast in the restive central province of Ghazni targeted a police convoy that was travelling to the scene of a Taliban attack in Zana Khan district.

Deputy provincial chief Mohammad Hassan Adel and two of his police guards were killed, Mohammad Ali Ahmadi, the deputy provincial governor of Ghazni, told AFP.

Mohammad Nabi Jaan, a Ghazni police spokesman, confirmed the incident, giving a similar account.

Taliban attacks killing police officers are routine in Afghanistan, but the insurgents said the roadside bomb was part of their spring offensive due to start on Sunday.

"As part of the... spring operation today in the morning the mujahideen launched a massive attack that caused the enemy big casualties," a Taliban spokesman said in an emailed statement.

"(Police) reinforcements... were sent and faced an ambush along the way and as a result Mohammad Hassan along with five other police were killed."

The insurgents said that six other police were killed in the attack, without giving further details.

On Saturday, the Taliban said that their annual offensive would target international airbases and diplomatic buildings with multiple suicide bombings, "insider attacks" by Afghan soldiers and "special military tactics".

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