KABUL, AFGHANISTAN — Suicide bombers targeted Afghan police and government officials in three attacks Thursday, killing three police officers and injuring seven people.
Taliban militants claimed responsibility for the attacks in Paktia, Kabul and Kandahar provinces, saying they killed scores of police and security forces.
In the first attack, several bombers teamed up to attack an Afghan police training center in Aryub Jaji, a border town in the eastern province of Paktia, said spokesmen for NATO forces and the Paktia governor's office.
After exchanging fire with Afghan forces at the center, some of the assailants fled, said Rohullah Samoon, a spokesman for the Paktia governor. One attacker was shot before he could enter the training compound, and another detonated a bomb at the front gate, Samoon said.
The explosion killed three officers and wounded at least two, he said.
Afghan officials said they were searching Thursday for at least two would-be suicide bombers who escaped.
A suicide bomber also attacked a government office south of Kabul, the Afghan capital, detonating a car bomb that injured three police officers and a bystander, police said.
The bomber drove a truck, with explosives planted under firewood in the back, to the entry gate of the Musayi district administrative office building about 7:30 a.m. and detonated the bomb. The building and nearby cars were damaged, a police statement said.
A Taliban spokesman claimed two suicide bombers detonated explosives vests in Paktia, and that the Kabul bombing was retaliation for attacks on Taliban forces.
"Security personnel of this district were creating problems for our mujahedin; they were creating obstacles for mujahedin when they were attacking foreign forces," Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said. "Now this problem is solved."
Another suicide bomber was foiled Thursday morning before he reached his target, a police station in the southern city of Kandahar.
Afghan national police recognized the bomber as he was trying to enter the station and opened fire, shooting him and detonating his explosives. At least one man was wounded, police said.
Special correspondent Aimal Yaqubi contributed to this report.