9 Afghan Cops Killed in Second Day of Targeted Taliban Attacks

Taliban militants targeting Afghanistan's security force detonated a roadside bomb Monday, killing at least nine policemen a day after two bloody attacks left nine other officers dead, officials said.

Monday's bomb attack came against a police convoy rolling through the Bakwa district of Farah province, said provincial police spokesman Baryalai Khan. The Bakwa police district commander was among the nine killed.

One of the three vehicles in the convoy was destroyed, said Interior Ministry spokesman Zemerai Bashary.

Western Afghanistan has been spared much of the violence rocking the south and east, but the area lies on a major heroin smuggling route into Iran. It also neighbors the volatile southern province of Helmand, where NATO last week launched its largest offensive yet, aimed at winning over a population long supportive of militant fighters.

Last month, suspected Taliban militants briefly took over Bakwa district a day after a roadside bomb attack on the province's police chief as he was returning from destroying poppy fields. He was unharmed, but four other officers in the vehicle were killed.

Clashes on Sunday between Afghan police and Taliban militants killed eight police and two Taliban in volatile southern Afghanistan, police said. A separate suicide bomb attack in the country's west killed another policeman.

On Sunday night in Farah, Taliban insurgents attacked a police post near the border with Iran, and the ensuing clash left two Taliban dead and one wounded, the Interior Ministry spokesman said.

Meanwhile in Helmand's Gereshk district, U.S.-led coalition and Afghan troops clashed with suspected Taliban insurgents Monday, killing two militants and lightly wounding two Afghan troops and one coalition soldier, the coalition said.

The coalition and Afghan troops had been targeting an alleged anti-aircraft weapons trafficker in the compound, but the coalition did not provide further details about the suspect.

A local leader in Gereshk, Adil Khan, said the assault killed five civilians and wounded four others, including three children.

The coalition said there were "no reported civilian casualties."