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Kandahar Governor Appeals for More Troops


The governor of Kandahar province in Afghanistan is appealing for troop reinforcements after a series of suicide attacks killed at least 35 people Saturday evening.

Officials say Taliban militants detonated five large blasts in the city as part of an operation that appeared to target the city's main prison. In a similar Taliban assault in 2008, militants freed hundreds of inmates, but officials say Saturday's prison-break failed.

The dead included 13 police officers and 22 civilians. Officials say 57 people were wounded in the attacks.

Another explosion took place early Sunday near a Kandahar construction company. Authorities say at least five people were wounded.

Kandahar is the birthplace of the Taliban movement and is still considered a key militant stronghold. U.S. and NATO commanders are planning a large-scale assault in the coming months to clear the city of militants and improve security and local governance.

In claiming credit for Saturday's attacks, a Taliban spokesman said they were a "message" to commanders planning the coming assault.

Meanwhile, a joint Afghan-international force said its troops killed a senior Taliban commander Friday in Lashkar Gar in the Helmand province. They say Muhammad Yah planned bomb and suicide attacks targeting Afghan and international forces that often killed civilians.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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