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Double Suicide Strike On Afghan Police Kills Five

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (Reuters) -- At least five people were killed on May 10 when two suicide bombers attacked a convoy of police in Afghanistan's volatile southern province of Helmand, a provincial police chief said.

Despite increasing numbers of foreign forces, violence has surged in the past year to its worst level since U.S.-led troops overthrew the Taliban government more than seven years ago.

In the latest incident, two suicide bombers, each riding on a motorcycle, blew themselves up near a group of police who had just parked their vehicles in the Girishk district of Helmand Province, provincial police chief Assadullah Sherzad said.

"So far, I can say that five people, including civilians, have been killed and 10 more wounded," Sherzad told a Reuters reporter by phone in the south.

Helmand is one of the main bastions for Taliban guerrillas and is the biggest drug producing region of Afghanistan, the world's top supplier of heroin.

The Taliban often rely on suicide attacks and roadside bomb blasts as part of their insurgency against the Afghan government.

The attack came just three days after a suicide bomber in the same district killed 20 Afghan civilians and two British soldiers from a NATO-led force. Girishk straddles a main highway across the restive province and has seen fighting in recent months.

The spread of Taliban attacks in Afghanistan as well as in nuclear-armed neighboring Pakistan have raised alarm worldwide.

The new U.S. administration is sending 17,000 soldiers to Afghanistan in the next few months, about half of whom will be deployed in Helmand. The new troops are part of a wave of reinforcements that will see the total U.S. force increase from 32,000 at the start of this year to 68,000 by year's end.