Gunmen kill 2 civilians, policeman in southern Afghanistan

Gunmen opened fire at a group of police and civilians in southern Afghanistan, killing two civilians and a police officer and wounding two others, an official said Tuesday. Several police and civilians were standing outside talking in the Nad Ali district of Helmand province Monday evening when the assailants opened fire from a car, provincial official Haji Ghulam Muhiddin said.

He blamed the Taliban for the attack. Two civilians and a police officer were killed, and two other policemen were wounded, said Muhiddin, chief of staff in the provincial government. He said the attackers fled in the car, and no arrests have been made.

Taliban-led insurgents regularly carry out attacks in southern and eastern Afghanistan, often targeting police, Afghan army forces and U.S.-led coalition troops. Militant violence has killed nearly 1,500 people this year, the deadliest since the ouster of the Taliban fro power in 2001.

Explosive devices authorities said were planted by militants injured three Afghan army troops and a coalition soldier on Monday in southern Zabul province, and one civilian was killed and several Afghan and coalition soldiers were injured in violence in the south on Sunday, reports the AP. I.L.

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