Authorities in Afghanistan say insurgent attacks have killed seven Afghan security personnel since Saturday.

Militants ambushed a police convoy in western Afghanistan Sunday, killing four officers and wounding a senior official from (the Qadis district of) Badghis province.

The U.S. military says a roadside bomb blast on Saturday killed three Afghan soldiers and wounded four others on a patrol in the eastern province of Paktia.

U.S. President Barack Obama announced a new U.S. strategy Friday to tackle a growing Taliban-led insurgency in Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan. It involves sending U.S. civilian and military assistance to government forces on both sides of the border.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says Washington must focus on reversing the Taliban's momentum in the region and strengthening the Afghan army and police.

In an interview on U.S. television Fox News Sunday, Gates said a flourishing democracy in Afghanistan remains a long-term goal.

A former high-ranking Afghan Taliban commander told the Reuters news agency that most Taliban fighters are willing to lay down their arms under certain conditions.

Mullah Abdul Salam says 95 percent of Taliban insurgents would reconcile with the Afghan government if it could ensure their security. But, he says the Afghan government is not yet strong enough to provide that security and many insurgents fear being killed for defecting.

Mullah Abdul Salam switched allegiance to the Afghan government in December 2007. He is now a senior official in the town of Musa Qala in the southern province of Helmand.

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