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Kandahar attacks are a warning to NATO, says Afghanistan Taliban

An Afghanistan Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for a series of coordinated Kandahar attacks Saturday, saying they were a warning to NATO, which will soon focus on securing Kandahar City and its approaches.

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An Afghan man views the site of the Kandahar attacks near Kandahar prison, Sunday. Taliban suicide bombers struck across Afghanistan's southern city of Kandahar on Saturday, killing more than 35 people and wounding scores in a series of strikes the militants called a message to NATO.

Ahmad Nadeem/Reuters

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The sudden explosive violence its inhabitants have learned to live with gripped Kandahar City in southern Afghanistan again Saturday as militants launched a series of coordinated attacks in an attempted jailbreak.

More than 35 people were killed and more than 50 wounded in five blasts as Afghanistan Taliban suicide bombers targeted the jail and police headquarters in the Kandahar attacks. Most of the casualties were civilians, including members of a wedding party celebrating near the police headquarters.

A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying they were intended as a warning to NATO, which has promised to focus on securing Kandahar City and its approaches this summer.

Following on the heels of Operation Moshtarak, which saw coalition and Afghan forces seize control of the Taliban stronghold of Marjah in neighboring Helmand Province, NATO commanders say the focus of their counterinsurgency campaign will switch to Kandahar City and its approaches. Kandahar is the political, spiritual, and religious capital of the south.

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