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Nearly 300 Afghan Police Killed In One Month

Nearly 300 Afghan local and national police officers were reported killed in the span of a month.

Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said on July 1 that 299 police officers were killed between May 10 to June 13 and another 618 officers were injured.

Sediqqi said that is a 22 percent increase compared to the same month last year.

He said the jump is due to roadside bombs laid by the Taliban and to Afghan forces taking the lead in all security operations.

In the same time span, Sediqqi said 753 militants were killed and more than 300 arrested.

He said 180 civilians were also killed.

Also on July 1, officials said a district police chief and three of his men were killed when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb in the northern province of Baghlan, while in Kabul a suicide bomber was killed as he approached one of the highest-security areas of the capital.

Jaweed Basharat, a police spokesman in Baghlan Province, said Borka district police chief Habinul Rahman and three of his subordinates were killed when the bomb exploded next to their vehicle while on patrol.

No group has claimed responsibility.

In Kabul, the National Directorate of Security said a suicide bomber was killed before he could detonate his vest in front of the Afghan intelligence agency's headquarters.

The attacker was reportedly wearing a military uniform. It was not immediately clear who was behind the attempt.

In recent weeks, Taliban suicide bombers have carried out attacks on the presidential palace, the Supreme Court, the airport, and an international aid group.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said on June 29 that his government was still willing to start talks with the Taliban despite recent attacks.

Based on reporting by AFP, dpa, AP, and RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan