Three suspected Taliban, three civilians killed in Afghan province

Police killed three suspected Taliban rebels who attacked their post, and a roadside bomb blast killed three civilians and wounded four others as violence continued in southern Afghanistan days before legislative elections, a top official said Thursday.

About 40 gunmen attacked a police post on a road in the mountainous Char-Chilo district of Uruzgan province late Wednesday, provincial Governor Jan Mohammed Khan said. Police killed three of the attackers and arrested one after a two-hour gunbattle, he said. The others escaped.

There were no casualties among 20 police manning the checkpoint, Khan said.

Earlier Wednesday, a bomb exploded along a road frequently traveled by U.S.-led and Afghan army forces near Tirin Kot, the provincial capital, blowing up a civilian vehicle and killing three passengers, he said.

Three other men and a child riding in the vehicle were seriously wounded, Khan said. He blamed both attacks on Taliban rebels, saying the roadside bomb was probably aimed at U.S.-led or Afghan forces.

Taliban insurgents have stepped up attacks in volatile southern Afghanistan and vowed to subvert landmark legislative elections on Sunday seen as a major step toward democracy and stability in Afghanistan after a quarter-century of war, reports the AP.

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