Senior Afghan police commander killed by roadside bomb

September 11, 2016 1:06 PM EDT

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JALALABAD, Afghanistan (Reuters) - A senior commander in one of Afghanistan's most dangerous provinces was killed by a Taliban bomb on Sunday, adding to a heavy toll of senior officers killed in recent days.

Zelawar Zahid, police commander in the eastern province of Nangarhar, was killed by a roadside explosive device near a checkpoint in Hesarak district, a spokesman for the local governor said.

His death follows last week's suicide attack on the defense ministry in Kabul, in which an army general and two senior police commanders died.

In a tweet posted by the movement's spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

More than 1,000 Afghan police and soldiers had been conducting a large weapons clearing operation in Heserak district for the past few days, according to police officials.

The operation, which had already faced multiple roadside bomb attacks, had resulted in nearly 80 weapons of various types being seized, police said.

Nangarhar, on the border with Pakistan, has been the focus of repeated security operations in recent months. As well as a heavy Taliban presence, the province is also known as the main base for Islamic State in Afghanistan.

(Reporting by Rafiq Shirzad and Mirwais Harooni; Editing by Stephen Powell)



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