8 Afghan police and soldiers killed in latest insurgent attack against Afghan forces

Authorities say five Afghan soldiers and three policemen died in attacks in the south and east of the country, the latest insurgent strikes against Afghanistan's security forces.

Ahmad Jawed Faisal, a provincial governor spokesman, says a suicide bomber killed the three policemen and wounded two others in the southern city of Kandahar on Thursday.

Sarhadi Zewak, spokesman for the governor in eastern Laghman province, says five troops died when their convoy struck a land mine.

The insurgents have been increasingly targeting Afghan authorities and security forces now that NATO is drawing down toward a final withdrawal of foreign combat troops in 2014.

Although the Afghan police and army have expanded rapidly to their planned strength of 352,000 members, they are plagued with low morale and a high desertion rate.