3 coalition soldiers among dozens dead, wounded in Afghanistan attacks

 

McClatchy Newspapers

More than two dozen Afghans were killed and dozens more wounded Wednesday in two insurgent attacks in eastern Afghanistan, including an attack in Khost province that also killed three coalition soldiers.

In Khost, a suicide bomber attacked an Afghan-U.S. military convoy, killing two policemen and 14 civilians and wounding 35 others, said Baryalai Rawan, a spokesman for the provincial governor. The U.S. Embassy in Kabul said three coalition soldiers also had been killed in the attack, along with their Afghan interpreter. The statement didn’t identify the soldiers’ nationalities, but most coalition troops in Khost are American.

The attack was the deadliest in a spate of recent violence that contrasts sharply with recent positive statements by coalition officials about the progress of the war in Afghanistan. Earlier this week, the outgoing senior coalition spokesman, German Brig. Gen. Carsten Jacobson, claimed that “the Taliban’s stated spring offensive has so far been a failure.”

Earlier in the day, in Logar province, south of Kabul, a roadside bomb hit a tractor carrying 10 civilians in the Baraki Barak district, killing four children, two women and two men, said Ghulam Sakhi, Logar’s police chief.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the Khost attack, which follows a series of attacks in the past two days in southern Afghanistan that killed two dozen civilians, police officers, insurgents and coalition soldiers.

Khost province, which borders Pakistan, is one of the most volatile areas of Afghanistan. A truck bomb attack by insurgents June 1 on a U.S. base there killed two Americans and wounded about three dozen troops, according to U.S. military officials.

The attacker in Wednesday’s incident in Khost, who was on foot, set off his explosives at midday in a market near the well-known White Mosque in Khost city, Rawan said.

“The area where the attack took place is a very crowded area where there are a lot of civilians,” Rawan said. He said two women and a child were among the dead, as well as two police officers.

The director of public health for Khost province, Dr. Amir Badshah, said 12 bodies had been taken to government hospitals in the area, including those of three police officers. “The rest are civilians,” Badshah said, and included a child.

Badshah said 17 civilians – including two women and a child – had been admitted for treatment, and four were in critical condition. “The number of casualties may increase,” he said.

Lt. Col. Jimmie Cummings, a coalition spokesman, said insurgents reportedly had attacked a security checkpoint and that a coalition mounted patrol had responded to the incident and secured the area.

The Khost police chief, Brig. Gen. Sardar Mohammad Zazai, told McClatchy that a single suicide bomber had targeted a U.S. convoy that was driving through the city.

“Normally (the Americans) set up checkpoints in different areas, but in this case the convoy was on patrol and passing by,” Zazai said.

Stephenson and Safi are McClatchy special correspondents.

Read more World Wires stories from the Miami Herald

  • Zimbabwe economy takes another dive

    It is 4 a.m. and people are already lining up outside Zimbabwe's main passport office — four hours ahead of opening time — in hopes of securing a passport that will allow them to escape their country's dearth of opportunities and search for work abroad.

  • German sentenced to death in China over killings

    Germany says a German man has been sentenced to death in China after being convicted on two counts of premeditated killing.

  •  
FILE - In this Friday, May 27, 2011, file photo, journalist James Foley poses for a photo during an interview with The Associated Press, in Boston. A video by Islamic State militants that purports to show the killing of Foley by the militant group was released Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014. Foley, from Rochester, N.H., went missing in 2012 in northern Syria while on assignment for Agence France-Press and the Boston-based media company GlobalPost.

    Twitter tries to block images of Foley killing

    Twitter and some other social media outlets are trying to block the spread of gruesome images of the beheading of journalist James Foley by Islamic State militants, while a movement to deny his killers publicity is also gaining momentum.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category