KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Five Afghan soldiers and three policemen died Thursday in attacks in the south and east of the country, the latest insurgent strikes against Afghanistan's security forces, officials said.
A suicide bomber struck in the southern city of Kandahar, killing the three policemen and wounding two others, said Ahmad Jawed Faisal, a provincial governor spokesman.
The five troops died when their convoy hit a land mine in eastern Laghman province, according to Sarhadi Zewak, also a governor spokesman.
Also Thursday, two boys were killed by a roadside bomb in Zabul province in southern Afghanistan. Deputy provincial chief Ghulam Gilani Farahi said the device had probably been planted by insurgents targeting police officers patrolling the area.
Insurgents have been increasingly targeting Afghan authorities and security forces now that NATO is drawing down toward a final withdrawal of foreign combat troops in 2014.
Although the Afghan police and army have expanded rapidly to their planned strength of 352,000 members, they are plagued with low morale and a high desertion rate.
Meanwhile, the spate of so-called insider attacks by members of Afghan security forces against foreign troops and their own colleagues has undermined trust between international forces and the Afghan army and police.