Dozen killed in Taliban attack on Afghan police headquarters in Kandahar

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Meanwhile, Taliban fighters in southern Kandahar province attacked police headquarters, killing at least 10 people and wounding dozens more, officials said.

Baheer Ahmadi, the Kandahar governor's spokesman, said on Thursday that 12 people had been killed, including nine civilians and three police officers. The attack began with a suicide bomber detonating an explosives-packed vehicle at the main entrance to police headquarters.

"There has been a auto bombing close to the police command in Kandahar city, unknown number of militants have entered a nearby building and have engaged in fighting", Barakzai said.

"Militants detonated a auto loaded with explosives, and some gunmen have entered the buildings around our main office", said a police official requesting anonymity.

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The assault comes amid a series of peace talks between Washington and the Taliban that both sides say are making progress, but which so far have yielded no reduction in violence in the gruelling Afghan conflict. "Now the Afghan army and U.S. helicopters are hovering in the area", police chief Tadin Khan told AFP.

Kandahar is the former seat of the Taliban when they ruled Afghanistan from 1996 until their ouster by a USA -led coalition in 2001.

Details have emerged on an insider attack on Wednesday in Afghanistan, when an Afghan soldier shot and killed the commander of the Afghan Army's 3rd division, Col. Mateen Mujtaba, in the Ghazni Province.

The news comes as 76 civilians were killed or wounded in separate attacks across the country earlier this week, despite the peace negotiations between the United States and the Taliban movement.

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