Afghan deputy police chief killed in bombing in E. province

Ghazni, Apr. 28 (Xinhua-ANI): A roadside bombing killed the deputy provincial police chief in eastern Afghan province of Ghazni on Sunday, one day after the Taliban insurgent group announced the launching of an annual offensive, a provincial government spokesman said.

"The deputy police chief Mohammad Hassan Hadil and two policemen were martyred when their vehicle touched off a roadside bombing in Zana Khan district early Sunday morning," spokesman Fazil Sabawoon told Xinhua.

Taliban launched a massive attack against Zana Khan district's administrative compound and surrounding areas in remote district in early Sunday morning, a provincial official who declined to be named told Xinhua.

He said the police official was traveling to the remote district to monitor the situation when the blast took place in the province 100 km south of national capital Kabul.

On Saturday, the Taliban, fighting Afghan government and the NATO-led coalition forces, said in a statement that they would start the annual spring operation codenamed "Khalid bin Waleed," the name of a general in Islamic history from Sunday.

They also urged civilians to stay away from official gatherings, military convoys and centers regarded as the legitimate targets by militants besides warning people not to support the government and foreign troops.

The announcement came as spring and summer, known as the fighting season, is drawing near in the insurgency-hit country.

The Taliban-led insurgency and conflicts claimed the lives of more than 2,800 Afghan security forces and 402 foreign soldiers while leaving 2,754 civilians dead last year in the central Asian state. (Xinhua-ANI)