A car bomb seriously wounded two U.S.-led coalition soldiers near Kandahar, and in another incident, four suspected suicide attackers riding two motorcycles died in a confrontation with Afghan police. In the west, gunmen killed two Afghans working for international aid agency World Vision who had been delivering medicine.
It was the latest in a bloody wave of violence between resurgent Taliban-led rebels and Afghan and foreign troops, and comes as NATO-led forces prepare to take over command of security operations in the hard-line militia's former southern heartland.
The heaviest fighting took place in Bakwa, a town in southwestern Farah province, which has been spared from the worst of the recent violence that has claimed more than 800 lives, mostly militants, since mid-May.
About 400 Taliban militants riding in about 35 pickup trucks arrived in the town late Sunday and launched a heavy assault on a district police and administration headquarters using dozens of machine guns and rocket-propelled grenade launchers, said Gen. Sayed Aga Saqib, provincial police chief.
The militants fled back toward neighboring Helmand province after a five-hour battle, carrying an unknown number of militant casualties with them from a bloodstained battleground. The clash left three police dead, and seven wounded, he said.
Also in Farah, four suspected suicide attackers riding on two explosive-laden motorbikes were killed after they were challenged by police as they drove through the provincial capital late Sunday, Saqib said.
Two of the suspected attackers were shot dead by police, while the other two were killed when police shot at their bike and detonated their explosives, Saqib said.
Meanwhile, a remotely donated car bomb seriously wounded two U.S.-led coalition soldiers Monday as they patrolled with Afghan army soldiers in Daman district of southern Kandahar province, on the main highway toward the capital Kabul.
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