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Afghan official: Taliban bombs kill 2 police, 2 civilians

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A confrontation between Afghan forces and Taliban fighters Wednesday in eastern Ghazni province left two members of the security forces and two civilian passers-by dead, provincial officials said.

The Taliban were driving in a stolen Humvee packed with explosives that detonated as the police fired warning shots to get the suspicious vehicle to stop. The incident took place in the city of Ghazni, the provincial capital.

Arif Noori, the provincial governor’s spokesman, said officials had received intelligence reports that the Taliban were preparing to stage such an attack. Noori said four Taliban were also killed in the incident.

Hospital chief Baz Mohammad Hemat said 10 civilians and five police were wounded in the explosion.

Zabihullah Mujahid, Taliban spokesman, claimed responsibility for the attack in Ghazni.

The Taliban carry out near-daily attacks on Afghan forces, and despite ongoing peace talks with the U.S., the insurgent group refuses to stop fighting until U.S. and NATO troops withdraw from the country.

In August last year, the insurgents overran parts of Ghazni, leading to days of intense fighting before they were driven out.

Ghazni was the only one of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces in which parliamentary elections did not take place in October. Voting there has been postponed for a year, according to the national Election Commission. Both presidential and parliamentary elections will take place on Sept. 28 in the province.

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