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14 Afghan soldiers, police killed in two separate attacks

From Matiullah Mati, For CNN
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the two suicide attacks which left nine dead in Kabul on December 19, 2010.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the two suicide attacks which left nine dead in Kabul on December 19, 2010.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: 5 soldiers killed in first attack; 9 soldiers, police in second
  • The Taliban says it carried out the two attacks on Afghan troops
  • The attacks took place in Kabul and Kunduz
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Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) -- A total of 14 Afghan soldiers and national police officers were killed in separate attacks targeting the Afghan National Army on Sunday, officials said.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attacks on its official website, saying the two attacks were coordinated. In one of the attacks, two would-be suicide bombers in Kabul targeted Afghan National Army vehicles with firearms, said Khalil Dastyar, deputy chief of police in Kabul. Five soldiers were killed.

Police shot one of the would-be suicide bombers, at which point his bomb detonated, Dastyar said. The other would-be suicide bomber was shot and killed without his device going off.

In a second incident, three or four attackers targeted an Afghan National Army recruitment center in Kunduz province, killing four soldiers and five Afghan National Police officers, said Mohbiullah Saidi, a spokesman for the governor of Kunduz.

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Two of the suicide attackers were killed Sunday morning, he said, while a third died after fighting authorities for hours.

The attacks come one day after German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Kunduz. The trip took place two days after Merkel announced a planned reduction in troop levels; Germany has more than 4,800 troops serving with NATO's International Security Assistance Force.

CNN's Samson Desta contributed to this report.

 
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