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Seven Afghan police killed

KABUL, Sept 12 – Seven Afghan policemen were killed in a Taliban raid on their post in northern Afghanistan where attacks linked to the Islamist militants are soaring, the local governor said Saturday.

The attack happened late Friday in Kunduz province and comes as the country faces its worst violence in an eight-year war.

"Last night, Taliban attacked a police post in Durai area of Kunduz province and killed seven policemen, one of them the commander of the post," said Juma Khan Babar, district governor of Kunduz Imam Sahib district.

"Two of the policemen were left alive," he told AFP.

Kunduz was until recently relatively peaceful but has seen a surge in attacks since early this year.

Two New York Times reporters were kidnapped last week in the province, areas of which appear to have come under Taliban influence in recent months.

British-Irish journalist Stephen Farrell escaped unharmed in a NATO commando operation on Wednesday, but his Afghan colleague Sultan Munadi was killed in the crossfire along with a British soldier, and an Afghan woman and child.

The Taliban regime was toppled in a US-led invasion in late 2001, but the extremists have regrouped to take on about 100,000 NATO and US troops in the war-scarred nation.

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A London-based think tank said on Friday the Taliban now had a presence in virtually all areas of Afghanistan.

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