LASHKAR GAH - Taliban insurgents in captured military Humvee vehicles launched suicide attacks in the southern Afghan province of Helmand on Saturday, killing several members of the security forces in the district center of Sangin, a senior official said.
The incident came amid bitter fighting in Helmand, a traditional Taliban heartland where insurgents have overrun many areas, leaving government forces in some district centers including Sangin and Marjah barely clinging on.
Provincial police chief Abdul Rahman Sarjang said that after heavy fighting on Friday during which the Taliban lost around 40 fighters, suicide bombers in two captured Afghan army Humvees targeted the police and governor's headquarters.
"The first Humvee was ordered by the police to stop but when he ignored warnings, the police fired a rocket-propelled grenade," Sarjang said.
The second bomber detonated his vehicle near a checkpoint guarding the two headquarters. Four policemen were killed and seven wounded, he said, while an army spokesman said one soldier was killed and another was wounded.
In Kabul, the outgoing commander of international troops in Afghanistan Gen. John Campbell confirmed the incident but said no American troops were involved.
"I think right now the Afghan forces have a plan to go after that," he said.
The Taliban have captured large amounts of weapons and equipment from Afghan government forces, including Humvees and other vehicles, as the insurgency has spread over the past year.