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Afghan police killed in shooting

Gunmen have attacked an outpost of a government-sponsored militia force in western Afghanistan, killing 10 people, officials have said.

Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi claimed responsibility for the attack.

Men armed with assault rifles stormed the outpost late Wednesday night in Farah province's Khaki Safed district, provincial police chief Shamsul Rahman Zahid said.

He said eight members of the Afghan Local Police were killed and two captured. Police said two militia members were then dragged outside the compound and shot dead. Four members survived the attack.

The attackers first shot a guard who was posted outside then pushed into the compound and opened fire on those inside, said Abdul Khaliq Noorzai, the district administrator. The attackers then made off with their weapons.

The assault happened on the same day that a Taliban suicide bomber on a motorcycle killed at least 10 people, including three American soldiers, at a park in northern Afghanistan.

The attacks appear to be part of an increase in violence at the start of the spring fighting season. During the harsh Afghan winter, snow often blocks roads and fighting dies down.

The Taliban are targeting Afghan and Nato security forces as they fight to assert their power and undermine US efforts to try to build up the Afghan military, which will take the lead in combat responsibility over the next couple of years.

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