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Two Suicide Attacks Kill Eight in Southern Afghanistan

Two suicide bombings have rocked the southern Afghan city of Kandahar, killing at least eight people, including two U.S.-led coalition soldiers.

A coalition spokesman says the two soldiers died Saturday after a suicide bomber rammed a vehicle carrying U.S.-led coalition troops. The blast wounded at least eight others.

A second suicide bomber blew himself up a short time later, killing at least six Afghan civilians and wounding at least 27 others.

A purported Taleban spokesman, Yousuf Ahmadi, claimed responsibility for the attacks.

In other news, Afghan and coalition forces backed by helicopter gunships raided a volatile area in southern Helmand province, killing at least 19 suspected militants.

Local officials say the militants were killed in clashes over the past few days in the district of Garmser. The district briefly fell to the militants earlier this week.

The operation was part of an offensive launched by foreign troops that has met stiff resistance from a resurgent Taleban.

Afghanistan's southern regions have seen some of the worst fighting in recent months since the Taleban regime was ousted from power in 2001. NATO peacekeeping troops will take over security command from the U.S.-led coalition in the southern provinces at the end of July.

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