Two Canadian soldiers were killed in a suicide bomb attack on a coalition vehicle in Afghanistan.
Eight others were injured in the attack in Kandahar, officials said. Another bomber, in a simultaneous attack nearby, blew himself up and killed six Afghanis.
A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for both blasts and warned of more as Nato prepares to take control of the volatile southern Afghan region. Separately, suspected Taliban militants killed three Afghan policeman and one civilian yesterday in the town of Gelan in the western Ghazni province.
The attacks highlighted the continuing challenges confronting the US-led coalition and its Afghan allies as they battle still defiant Taliban militants.
The southern regions, in particular, have witnessed some of fiercest fighting since the toppling of the Taliban regime in late 2001, and the militants have stepped up suicide attacks and assaults on Afghan and coalition forces as Nato beefs up its forces in the country to 16,000 from 9,700.
In the first bombing, a suicide attacker rammed an explosive-laden car into a coalition vehicle, killing the two Canadians and wounding eight others, US-led coalition forces spokesman Major Scott Lundy said.
In the second attack, which occurred shortly after the first about 100 feet away, another attacker approached a crowd of people and detonated his vest, killing six bystanders and wounding another 20, said Dawood Ahmadi, spokesman for the governor of Kandahar.
Both bombers died in the attacks, he said.
British Army commanders in Nato's peacekeeping force in Afghanistan want to withdraw from isolated village outposts that have been the focus of the resurgent and fierce Taliban guerrilla attacks, it was reported yesterday.
The report quoted an unidentified Ministry of Defence official as saying it "may be necessary to rebalance British forces. Sometimes it is necessary to trade ground for influence. It is a mistake to develop an obsession with holding ground, though the Taliban will try to present this as a reverse for us."
The report said British commanders hoped that Afghan troops would take over the posts in southern Helmand province, the centre of repeated clashes between Taliban and NATO forces.
More than 800 people have died since mid-May, when Taliban militants launched their offensive.