Jan 29, 3:01 AM EST

Latest Taliban attacks across Afghanistan kill 17

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KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- A spate of Taliban attacks across Afghanistan overnight and on Thursday morning killed at least 17 people, officials said, the latest violence that comes as insurgents increasingly target local police and Afghan forces after most foreign combat troops withdrew at the end of last month.

The deadliest of the attacks took place late Wednesday in the central Ghazni province, where Taliban insurgents attacked a checkpoint in Andar district, killing 11 members of a pro-government militia that was manning the post and wounding six.

As the militia fought back, six insurgents were killed and seven were wounded, according to Mohammad Ali Ahmadi, deputy governor in central Ghazni province.

The province's deputy police chief, Asadullha Ensafi, said the insurgents had inside information from one of their own who had managed to infiltrate the volunteer militia last year.

In a message, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack on the checkpoint.

On Thursday morning, a roadside bomb killed four people, including a policeman, in eastern Laghman province, said spokesman Sarhadi Zwak. The bombing, for which he blamed the Taliban, took place in the provincial capital of Mihtarlam.

And in the district of Sayed Abad in Wardak province east of the capital, Kabul, Taliban fighters ragged two villagers from their home and killed them, according to spokesman Attaullha Khugyani.

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