KANDAHAR, Afghanistan – A spate of homicide bombings and other attacks on Afghan security forces Wednesday left 13 people dead and 24 others wounded, officials said.
In southern Kandahar province, a homicide bomber blew himself up next to a vehicle carrying intelligence agents in the border town of Spin Boldak, killing three civilians, Kandahar Gov. Assadullah Khalid said.
Two children and three intelligence agents were among the 14 hurt, Khalid said.
Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi said the insurgent group was behind the attack and identified the bomber as a man named Gul Mohammad.
Meanwhile, a 16-year-old boy who was wounded in the explosion said police opened fire at the suspected homicide bomber before he detonated explosives.
"Police opened fire at the man after he ran toward a group of civilians. He then threw his shawl and then there was a big explosion," said Rehmat Ullah.
He said the bomber was a man who appeared to be in his mid-20s.
In neighboring Helmand province, another homicide bomber targeted a convoy carrying the Gereshk district police chief, killing two officers and wounding three, district police chief Khairudin Shuhja said.
As the bomber approached the car, guards opened fire, wounding the attacker, who then blew himself up, Shuhja said.
Militants regularly use homicide bombings against Afghan and foreign forces, but most victims of such attacks are civilians. Last year, militants launched more than 140 homicide attacks.
In eastern Kunar province, Taliban militants attacked a police border post, killing five officers and wounding seven others, said provincial police chief Abdul Jalal Jalal.
Separately, a border police patrol in northwestern Badghis province hit a mine, killing three officers riding in the vehicle, regional police chief Gen. Khalil Andarabi said.
Militants regularly target the police force, which is seen as weaker than the better trained and equipped national army.
More than 900 policemen were among the 8,000 people killed last year in insurgency-related violence, officials said. The high death toll comes despite some $4 billion the U.S. has spent to train and equip the police in the last three years.