Taliban insurgents, in a series of attacks, stormed isolated police outposts around the provincial capital of Lashkargah, killing at least 14 Afghan troops and injured several others in a pre-dawn attack in southern Helmand province. Afghan officials claim to have beaten back the attack and inflicted serious casualties on the attackers.

Taliban sources later claimed that the death toll of government troops was much higher. They frequently attack police outposts as those are considered “soft targets” where the number of troops is smaller and the troops are far less trained than some of their contemporaries in the Afghan Special Forces.

Later, a suicide bomber in neighboring Kandahar province detonated his explosives-laden vehicle near a NATO convoy.

Provincial police spokesman, Matiullah Helal, told VOA, the blast killed a woman passerby and wounded five other civilians, but did not harm any foreign troops.

There are about 300 US Marines in Helmand province training and assisting the Afghan police and army forces. The area is a hotspot due to the opium fields that blanket the area. The Taliban use the opium trade to earn money to fund operations.

The woman civilian killed in the blast of the convoy died when her house, near the ambush, collapsed from the blast on top of her.

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