A land mine ripped through a police vehicle, killing six officers and wounding four in the latest in a wave of attacks that have rocked southern Afghanistan, officials said yesterday.
The blast late on Saturday in Kandahar Province came after 48 hours of bloodshed that left 38 people dead as hundreds of Afghan and US forces battled some 200 militants in the biggest fighting in months.
The mine was buried on a dirt road and detonated as the police drove over it in a four-wheel-drive vehicle, said Mohammed Nabi, a local police chief.
Nabi blamed the attack on the Taliban, saying: "The Taliban would have known the officers were coming and placed the mine there to attack them."
The wounded were rushed to a hospital in Kandahar City, and security forces have launched a manhunt for the rebels.
The violence underscores the massive challenge that will face thousands of British and Canadian troops as they gradually relieve US forces in southern Afghanistan, a hotbed of anti-government insurgency.