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Police chief survives bomb attack

A suicide car bomber hit the convoy of a provincial police chief in southern Afghanistan, an official said. The chief was not seriously hurt but three officers were injured.

Helmand province spokesman Ummar Zawaq said police chief Mohammad Nabi Ilham was on his way to his office in the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah when the car bomber struck. Mr Ilham's vehicle was damaged but he was not badly hurt.

Taliban insurgents have been targeting police and government officials with an intense assassination campaign and attacking government positions around the country as Afghan police and army prepare to officially take over full responsibility for security from international troops.

The toll on Afghan forces has been high. In May alone, at least 271 police were killed in attacks.

Broken glass and the charred remains of the bomber's car were strewn across the road after the attack.

The force of the blast tore off the door of Mr Elham's vehicle.

"Thanks be to God that it was so early in the morning," the police chief said later in an interview.

"If it had been 8 or 9 in the morning, there would have been labourers here who are building a road for a mosque. Shopkeepers would have been here, and how many people might have been killed?"

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