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Attacks kill nine in Afghanistan Attacks 'kill 17' in Afghanistan
(about 5 hours later)
At least nine people have been killed in a series of attacks across Afghanistan, police say. Reports from Afghanistan say at least 17 people, including three insurgents, have been killed in a day of violence which included two suicide attacks.
In the most serious violence, at least five policemen were killed and six injured in what police say was a Taleban ambush in Zabul province. Five of the dead were police who were killed in the south-east.
The attack took place on the highway linking Kabul to Kandahar, police said. Correspondents say the Taleban and their allies are increasingly resorting to roadside bombings and ambushes.
A man claiming to speak for the Taleban said the group carried out the attack, which blocked the road for several hours and left drivers stranded. Meanwhile, seven United Nations staff - two of them German, five Afghan - have been kidnapped in the central province of Wardak, local officials say.
Correspondents say that Zabul province is well known as Taleban hotbed . The governor of neighbouring Ghazni province, Mirajuddin Pathan, told the BBC that the group were thought to have been taken to the border area between the two provinces.
In another incident, in the eastern town of Khost, police told the BBC News website that a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a police station, and another suicide bomber was shot dead by police. Two policemen were also killed. UN officials were not immediately available for comment.
In a third incident, a suicide bomber targeted a Turkish diplomatic convoy on the outskirts of the capital, Kabul, wounding at least one Afghan civilian, police and witnesses said. Shots fired
A Turkish embassy official told the Associated Press news agency that shots were fired at a damaged armoured vehicle in the convoy, wounding one Turkish guard. The police chief of the south-eastern province of Zabul told the BBC that the Taleban attacked a convoy of his men on the main highway which links Kabul with the south and west of the country.
Nato troops blocked off the site of the blast, on a main road leading out to the west of the city. Britain says other countries should supply more troops
Police also say that a Filipino road engineer and his Afghan guard were killed in a Taleban ambush in the south-eastern province of Paktia. He said five policemen had been killed and six injured.
Correspondents say the south of the country this year has seen the worst violence since the Taleban were ousted from power in 2001 by a US-led international coalition. Further west on the same road in Helmand province an army officer said three of his colleagues were killed by a remotely controlled device.
There have also been incidents in three adjoining provinces in the east near the Pakistani border.
Two suicide attackers jointly attacked a police compound in Khost.
Two police were killed when one of the attackers blew himself up and the other fired shots before being shot dead by police.
In Paktia province police said a Filipino road engineer and an Afghan guard were killed in ambushes.
In Loghar, near Kabul, an office which gives security advice said a staff member and driver working for a non-governmental organisation were both killed in their car by men waiting on a motorcycle.
In the capital a suicide bomber struck near a Turkish military convoy but killed only himself while wounding a passer-by.
The violence came as a committee of British MPs urged Nato to increase its troop presence on the ground in Afghanistan.