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Afghan Funeral Blast Kills 9

Officials in northern Afghanistan say a suicide bomber has attacked a tribal chief's funeral, killing two police and seven civilians. At least 18 people were wound in the blast Monday in the Burka district of Baghlan province.

A police official told the French news agency the bomber was probably targeting "high ranking police officials and provincial council members" attending the funeral, but they were not harmed.

Bomb attacks targeting foreign troops and Afghan government officials and security forces have intensified as the international military coalition draws down, leaving the fight against the Taliban insurgency mostly to Afghan forces.

The NATO force in Afghanistan will change on December 31 from a combat mission to a support role.

In another development, the Afghan Interior Ministry has rejected the resignation of the police chief of Afghanistan's capital, Kabul.

General Mohammed Zahir had stepped down Sunday following a string of Taliban attacks on foreign targets, including guesthouses, embassy vehicles and U.S. troops.

A police spokesman was quoted by AFP Monday saying that, "based on the request of high-ranking officials and in order to avoid disruption of security affairs, General Zahir was asked to continue his duties," as police chief.