KABUL, Afghanistan – A spate of attacks that included a bombing outside an Afghan police base in Kandahar city killed eight American troops and three police officers, NATO officials said Wednesday, reflecting stepped-up resistance by the Taliban to coalition efforts to secure southern Afghanistan.

The most brazen attack was an assault Tuesday night at the headquarters of the Afghan National Civil Order Police, a force that recently came to Kandahar to work with NATO troops to secure the city. At about 9 p.m., a car bomb exploded on the base’s perimeter, followed by gunfire and rocket-propelled grenades.

Three U.S. troops were killed, along with five Afghan civilians and three police officers, according to NATO and Afghan officials.

NATO officials said the attackers did not breach the compound’s perimeter, but the Kandahar provincial police chief, Mohammad Zazai, gave a slightly different account. He said two suicide bombers attacked on foot, the first blasting a wall and the second detonating his explosives inside, causing the casualties.

“The Taliban’s aim is just destruction and to cause casualties,” he said.

Four other U.S. service members died in a bombing attack Wednesday in southern Afghanistan, and a fifth was killed by gunfire. Officials did not immediately offer more information about the location or circumstances of those deaths.

So far this month, 45 NATO troops, including 33 Americans, have died in Afghanistan, according to The Associated Press.

Also Wednesday, the ousted district governor of Marja, Abdul Zahir Aryan, known as Haji Zahir, said that despite being fired this week, he’s “very happy.”

“I’m not sad. I served my country,” he said. “I laid down the foundation for democracy.”

Zahir, a minor political figure in what became a major town for the U.S. military, was the centerpiece of what Gen. Stanley McChrystal called “government in a box”: the plan to seize a Helmand town from the Taliban and quickly install a functioning government. That plan faltered in the face of a determined insurgency and villagers’ wariness about new leadership.

Zahir said he, too, plans to move. “For my safety, I cannot say where I will stay,” he said. “I’ll try to find somewhere I feel safe, and I’ll stay there.”