3 Afghans killed in suicide attack on NATO convoy in former Taliban stronghold
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan – A suicide bomber rammed a car loaded with explosives into a NATO convoy Monday in the former Taliban stronghold of Kandahar, killing three Afghans.In the capital, another suicide attacker detonated a car bomb near a school, wounding an 11-year-old, police said.Resistance from Taliban-led insurgents has eased somewhat in recent weeks but they have kept up a steady stream of suicide attacks, following the heaviest burst of fighting in Afghanistan since the Islamic militia’s ouster from power five years ago.In the Kandahar attack, a man drove a Toyota into a NATO military convoy, killing himself and three Afghan civilians, NATO and police said. They said four civilians and a NATO soldier were wounded.Maj. Daryl Morrell, a spokesman for the NATO-led force, blamed the Taliban, saying the hard-line militia wanted to disturb law and order in Kandahar province.An Associated Press reporter saw Canadian troops block the road where the attack happened near a major junction leading into the city.In the Kabul bombing, police managed to corner the bomber before he detonated his explosives. An 11-year-old girl, Tahmina, standing in front of the Bibi Marou School near Kabul’s international airport, was hurt by flying shrapnel, police said. The school did not appear to be the target.Sayed Ansari, spokesman for Afghanistan’s intelligence service, said the Kabul bomber was trained in North Waziristan, a tribal region in Pakistan where the government recently reached a deal with Taliban militants to stop them launching cross-border attacks.He claimed three other bombers trained in the same region remain at large, but gave no details on the source of the information.In central Ghazni province, meanwhile, U.S.-led coalition and Afghan troops raided a militant hideout, killing three suspected insurgents, the U.S. military said. One soldier was wounded, but the military did not give his nationality.Although NATO has assumed control of military operations in Afghanistan, the U.S. is leading a smaller coalition of a few thousand U.S. and other troops to focus on counterterrorism operations and the hunt for Osama bin Laden.In eastern Kunar province, U.S. troops fighting under NATO command killed four insurgents near the Korangal outpost in the Pech district, attacking them with rocket-propelled grenades and semiautomatic weapons, a NATO statement said.This year has seen a bloody escalation in violence in Afghanistan, primarily in the south. Over the weekend, Italian freelance photographer Gabriele Torsello and his Afghan translator were reportedly abducted as they drove from Lashkar Gah, the capital of the southern Helmand province, toward neighboring Kandahar.The Italian Foreign Ministry said Monday that Torsello is alive and in good condition, but his whereabouts remained unknown. Officials were trying to identify the abductors.A week ago, two German journalists were killed in northern Afghanistan. Most kidnapping victims in the country have been Afghans or foreigners helping foreign troops or working with internationally funded reconstruction projects.—AP writers Amir Shah and Fisnik Abrashi contributed to this report from Kabul.
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