KABUL (AFP) - Taliban fighters ambushed a police vehicle in southern Afghanistan on Monday, killing eight policemen, a senior official said, in the latest in a surge of attacks after the end of winter. The ambush took place in the village of Rabat in Kandahar province on the border with Pakistan. "A police vehicle was attacked in an ambush in the Rabat area of Spin Boldak district in which eight police were killed and one wounded," said local highway police commander Sahib Jan. The interior ministry condemned the attacks as cowardly. The NATO-led force said Monday its troops had killed a senior insurgent and nine others in an operation in the southern province of Helmand. The men were killed in the Kajaki area on Saturday, the International Security Assistance Force said. Most ISAF troops in the region are British. "Maulawi Hassan was killed, along with nine of his associates, during an operation that targeted his compound," ISAF said in a statement. It said Hassan was heavily involved in activities such as suicide attacks and bombings. He reported to a senior Taliban commander, Mullah Rahmatullah, who directed insurgent activity from outside Afghanistan, ISAF said, in a likely reference to Pakistan, where Taliban and other extremists have bases. The details could not be verified immediately with Afghan authorities. Also in Helmand, six members of the "opposition" were killed Sunday when a mine exploded as they were planting it on a road, the interior ministry said.