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Taliban Suicide Bomber Kills Afghan Regional Police Chief

A suicide bomber dressed as a woman killed an Afghan provincial police chief who was visiting Kabul, a regional official said Thursday.

Mattiullah Khan, the police chief of northern Uruzgan province, was killed late Wednesday.

Afghan officials have released few details about the attack and it is unclear why Khan was in Kabul, though the acting governor of Uruzgan, Amanullah Timory, said it was for official business.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the killing, which is stepped up attacks and ambushes on government targets to coincide with the sharp drawdown of foreign troops.

The bombing also comes as Afghanistan prepares to celebrate Nowruz, the Persian New Year.

The Taliban have fought the Kabul government for 14 years and are currently under pressure to open a dialogue aimed at ending the violence.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban claimed one of its senior commanders, Khawrey Mehsud, was killed along with two fighters in a U.S. drone strike in an Afghan border region.

The militant group has been waging an insurgency against neighboring Pakistan and its top leaders are allegedly using Afghan border territory for refuge and attacks against Pakistani targets.

A Pakistani security official confirmed to the French news agency AFP there was a drone strike in the area at the time.

Mehsud, who hailed from the South Waziristan tribal district, was among the founding members of the Pakistani Taliban when it was formed in 2007.

Some material for this report came from Reuters, AP and AFP.