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Wave of attacks across Afghanistan leaves at least 17 dead


Awave of attacks across Afghanistan on Tuesday left at least 17 dead and wounded scores, officials said, including a Taliban truck bombing in the country's north that targeted a commando base for Afghan forces.

The violence comes as expectations had been rising that negotiations could soon get underway between the Afghan government and the insurgents.

The truck suicide bomber struck in northern Balkh province, killing three people, including two Afghan commandos and a civilian, according to Munir Ahmad Farhad, the spokesman for the provincial governor.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the Balkh attack in a tweet, claiming that "tens" of military personnel were killed. The Taliban often exaggerate their battlefield claims.

In a separate attack in Balkh, gunmen shot dead five people, including former warlord Abdul Raouf, two of his sons ages 10 and 11 and two other men in a vehicle in the Charkent district, said Adil Shah Adil, spokesman for the provincial police chief.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but Adil said the target was Raouf and police are investigating.

Also Tuesday, an attack on a checkpoint of pro-government forces in western Ghor province killed eight troops and wounded five, said Arif Aber, spokesman for the provincial governor. The attack in Shahrak district set off a five-hour-long gun battle.

In the capital of Kabul, a roadside bombing killed a police officer while a policewoman and her driver were wounded when unknown attackers opened fire on them, said Ferdaws Faramarz, spokesman for the Kabul police chief.