Suspected Taleban fighters have attacked a police headquarters in southern Afghanistan, killing five policemen and wounding at least two others.
Local security officials said the attack took place late Monday in southern Kandahar province. They said suspected Taleban fighters drove up to the police station in Ghorak district in several vehicles and launched the attack.
The district police chief is said to be among those killed in the clash, which reportedly lasted for nearly one hour.
Afghan officials say the attackers fled, and it is not known if they suffered any casualties.
Afghanistan's southern Kandahar region is the former headquarters of the hardline Taleban movement, which was removed from power by a U.S.-led force in late 2001.
Attacks against Afghan and foreign troops in the country have increased in recent weeks. Afghan government officials blame the Taleban and members of the al-Qaida terrorist organization for the violence, which has claimed dozens of lives.
They also allege that anti-government fighters are plotting attacks from their hideouts in the border regions of neighboring Pakistan, a charge Pakistani officials deny.
A U.S. military spokesman at the Bagram air base near Kabul said U.S. special forces came under attack in eastern Afghanistan on Monday. The spokesman said suspected militants detonated a bomb near a troop convoy and then fired on the soldiers with guns. He said there were no casualties in the attack, which took place near Asadabad, the capital of eastern Kunar province.
Nearly 12,000 foreign troops, most of them American, are in Afghanistan, hunting down remnants of the Taleban and their allies.