KANDAHAR  - Bomb and gun attacks on police in southern Afghanistan’s two largest cities killed six people late Wednesday, including a child, officials said. A remote-controlled bomb, which was placed on a motorcycle, hit a police truck in district 14 of Kandahar city, killing three people and wounding six others. “This evening a bomb placed on a motorbike ripped through a police vehicle that killed two police and a child, and wounded six others, including five police,” provincial spokesman Jawed Faisal told AFP. Doctor Pukhla, head of the Kandahar public health department, confirmed the casualties saying the dead and wounded had been taken to Kandahar’s Mirwais hospital.

“It was a very big blast, all the windows of our shops are broken. I saw many wounded people taken by police vehicles,” Haji Naeem, a shopkeeper, told AFP. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but similar attacks have in the past been blamed on the Taliban, which is leading an 11-year insurgency against NATO troops and the Western-backed government. Kandahar is the birthplace of the Taliban, which was toppled from power by a 2001 US-led invasion. In the provincial capital of neighbouring Helmand, a gunman opened fire on a police patrol vehicle, killing three more people, according to provincial spokesman Daud Ahmadi. “This evening an armed man opened fire on a patrol police vehicle in Lashkar Gah, killing two police and a civilian,” he said.