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Nine killed in attacks on convoys

Insurgents have attacked three convoys ferrying fuel and supplies to Nato troops stationed in western and eastern Afghanistan, killing nine Afghan security guards and torching at least 15 fuel tankers.

Two of the attacks on the supply convoys took place in eastern Ghazni province, where a pair of roadside bombs killed four Afghan security guards escorting the trucks to a nearby base for Polish troops, said provincial police chief Mohammed Hussain.

Insurgents also ambushed a Nato fuel convoy late last night along the border between Herat and Farah provinces in the west, killing five Afghan guards. Seven other guards were wounded in the attack after insurgents opened fire on the convoy, said Abdul Rashied, a local police chief. Insurgents later set fire to 15 fuel tankers.

The vast majority of the fuel for the roughly 132,000 international troops is ferried in by truck from Pakistan before it is distributed to Nato forces across Afghanistan. It takes roughly 100 truck loads of fuel - about 1.5 million gallons - to keep coalitions forces moving for a single day.

Insurgents frequently target Nato fuel tankers in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, though the coalition said in February that fewer than 1 % of all supply convoys face militant attack.

Meanwhile, Nato said its forces killed "several" insurgents in a gunbattle a day earlier in Ghazni, seizing rocket-propelled grenades, AK-47s and body armour.

Nato also said that a coalition service member died in an insurgent attack in southern Afghanistan.

So far in June, 31 international soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan, raising the death toll for 2011 to 237.

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