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Suicide blasts hit Afghanistan as Taleban ignites fighting season

A NATO soldier helps a colleague who was injured in a suicide car bomb attack that targeted foreign military vehicles in the Afghan capital. —AFP

A NATO soldier helps a colleague who was injured in a suicide car bomb attack that targeted foreign military vehicles in the Afghan capital. —AFP

KABUL: Suicide attackers yesterday targeted foreign troops in Kabul and a police headquarters in restive southern Afghanistan, killing two people and wounding nearly 60, as the Taleban’s bloody summer offensive showed no signs of letting up.

A powerful blast echoed around the Afghan capital as a suicide car bomber hit a convoy of foreign military vehicles on the main road to the airport, around 500 meters from the US embassy, wounding at least 17 people. Hours earlier at least two civilians were killed when a suicide truck bomb detonated at the gate of the police headquarters in Lashkar Gah, the capital of volatile Helmand province. Afghan troops and police are battling the Taleban in the first “fighting season” since NATO ended its combat mission and left local forces to take charge of security.

Yesterday’s violence came less than two days after 11 soldiers were killed in a Taleban ambush in the normally relatively peaceful western province of Herat. “It was a suicide car bomber targeting a convoy of foreign forces in Kabul,” interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said.

A spokesman for the health ministry said initial reports showed at least 17 people were wounded in the Kabul blast, including women and children. In Helmand, provincial police spokesman Farid Ahmad Obaid said the police headquarters attack left at least two civilians dead and 40 wounded. “It was a suicide truck bomber detonating his vehicle at the gate of police headquarters,” Obaid told AFP.

Provincial police chief Nabi Jan Mullahkhil told reporters three attackers were involved. “Two attackers were killed in the explosion while the third one was injured and as he tried to escape the police shot him,” he said. Provincial spokesman Omar Zhwak confirmed the attack and said most of the wounded were hit inside their homes by flying glass. A doctor at the emergency hospital in Lashkar Gah said 40 civilians were brought to the hospital.

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This article was published on 30/06/2015