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Insurgent attacks and military operations have killed more than 3,600 people so far this year, most of them militants. Much of the violence has been concentrated in the former Taliban stronghold in the south.

Also in southern Afghanistan, Dutch soldiers fatally shot a motorcyclist who approached their convoy and failed to heed warning signals and shots, the Dutch Defense Ministry said.

International forces are often the targets of suicide bombers, and they repeatedly warn Afghan civilian motorists to slow down or steer clear of convoys so they are not mistaken for attackers. Several civilians have been killed in such incidents.

Associated Press Writer Noor Khan in Kandahar contributed to this report.