Afghanistan's government will provide more than 1,000 police reinforcements to the southern province of Kandahar after Taliban attacks killed dozens of people there ahead of a coming offensive on the insurgent stronghold, an official said Tuesday.

The Ministry of Interior agreed with a provincial request for more security, Kandahar Gov. Tooryalai Wesa said.

Wesa asked for more police after multiple bombs over the weekend killed at least 35 people in Kandahar city. The Taliban called the attacks a "warning" that they are ready for the war's next phase.

Afghan and NATO troops are planning to move into Kandahar, the Taliban's spiritual birthplace, later this year after securing another stronghold in neighboring Helmand province. The southern push is part of a new counterinsurgency strategy and follows President Barack Obama's decision to send 30,000 new American troops to Afghanistan to reverse insurgent gains.

Some of the 1,100 new Afghan police in Kandahar will come from the capital, Kabul, and some will be recruited and trained locally, Wesa said. It will take a few months to put the new forces in place.

Hanif Atmar, the minister of interior, pledged to send more security forces when he visited Kandahar on Monday to attend funerals of the bombing victims. Atmar put the number of new police at 1,200 in Kandahar city and the surrounding province.

Kandahar city's police now number more than 2,000, and U.S. and Canadian trainers have been working to build up a professional force. The police are traditionally one of Afghanistan's least-trusted institutions.

Building up Afghan security forces is a key goal of the international coalition in the war, now in its eighth year. Obama hopes to begin withdrawing troops by 2011 and start turning over security to local institutions strong enough to prevent the Taliban's return to power.

Afghan National Police forces were the first responders to Saturday's attacks in Kandahar, and the international coalition praised their performance in preventing escapes from the main prison in the city, which was apparently the goal. The Taliban attacks mirrored a 2008 assault that allowed hundreds of inmates, many of them insurgents, to escape.

Wesa also appealed to the central government Tuesday to send more agents to gather intelligence about the insurgents, who operate freely in Kandahar city and control many of the surrounding villages.

"One of the big problems we face is lack of intelligence information," Wesa said.