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Taliban Targets Afghan Police, Civilians

Taliban insurgent attacks, including two suicide bombings, have killed at least 10 people and wounded many others in Afghanistan. Authorities say most of the victims were civilians. From neighboring Pakistan, Ayaz Gul reports.

Police and witnesses say a suicide bomber detonated his explosives soon after Afghan security forces spotted him and chased him in a crowded part of the border town of Spin Boldak.

The second suicide bombing targeted a convoy carrying a district police chief in neighboring Helmand province.

And authorities in the eastern Kunar province, which borders Pakistan, say insurgents attacked a border post there, killing five policemen. Several other security personnel were wounded while a number of militants were also reported killed in the clash.

Taliban insurgents have stepped up attacks this month on Afghan and foreign forces following the traditional winter lull in Afghanistan.

But Kabul-based spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, Brigadier General Carlos Branco, says there has been a change in the so-called spring offensive by the Taliban.

The spokesman told a news conference in Kabul that this month's attacks have mostly targeted power stations, road workers, de-miners, school teachers and humanitarian workers with an objective to undermine reconstruction and development in Afghanistan.

"It is clear that insurgents are intending to destroy anything that relates to development and prosperity in this country," said General Branco. "They have torched schools and murdered teachers, trying through these actions to compromise the education and development of the young generation and by so doing attempting to damage the prospects of future success in Afghanistan."

Earlier this month, a powerful suicide bombing outside a mosque in the Afghan province of Nimroz killed 27 civilians and wounded 30 others.

Taliban insurgents have vowed to carry out a wave of suicide bombings across Afghanistan this year to dislodge the government and drive out U.S-led coalition troops stationed in the country.

In the past two years, insurgency-related violence has killed thousands of people in Afghanistan, including hundreds of foreign forces.