Afghanistan ambush targets US troops

Two US soldiers and five civilians have been killed in separate attacks across Afghanistan.

    Taliban loyalists are believed to be behind the blasts

    In the latest attack late on Friday, five people including a policeman were killed after a remote-controlled bomb exploded in eastern Afghanistan near a truck supplying food to US bases, an official said. 

    The truck had previously been stopped and set on fire by suspected Taliban fighters in the eastern Kunar province and the blast happened after a crowd had gathered, provincial governor Said Fazil Akbar Agha said on Saturday.

    "A remote-controlled bomb killed five people including one policeman and injured the district police chief late Friday," he said. 

    The explosion was on the main road in the Dap area of Asmar district of Kunar province some 125km east of the capital Kabul. 

    "The incident occurred after a truck supplying food to US bases in Kunar was stopped and set on fire by enemies of Afghanistan," the governor said. 

    "District police went to the site and villagers were there as well when the remote-control bomb went off." 

    Post-election violence

    The attack came days after Afghanistan's landmark presidential poll went ahead peacefully despite vows by loyalists of the ousted Taliban to disrupt the vote. 

    Experts have warned about 
    violence after the election

    Experts had warned about a resurgence of violence after the election as security relaxed. Afghan vote counters rested for a day on Friday at the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, after the tally was delayed by allegations of fraud and mismanagement. 

    Vote counting began at five out of eight regional counting centres across the war-torn country on Thursday with preliminary results putting Karzai in the lead with just over 56% of the vote with 36,000 counted ballots.

    US soldiers killed

    Meanwhile, it was announced on Saturday that two US soldiers were killed in Afghanistan. The attack happened on Thursday in Uruzgan province, north-west of Deh Rawood, where a US military base is located. 

    "Two coalition soldiers were killed and three wounded when their patrol was struck by an improvised explosive device," Major Mark McCann, a US military spokesman in Kabul, said in a brief statement. 

    About 18,000 US soldiers make
    up the majority of the forces

    Another US official confirmed the casualties were American soldiers from the 25th Infantry Division. 

    About 18,000 US soldiers make up the vast majority of the coalition forces hunting Taliban and al-Qaida fighters in southern and eastern Afghanistan. 

    Uruzgan Governor Jan Muhammad Khan reported the incident on Friday. He said that a remote-controlled mine detonated under an American vehicle on patrol in the Kishi area of the province's Charcheno district on Thursday afternoon. He said that one US soldier was wounded. 

    In response, a US helicopter opened fire on the suspected attacker as he fled on a motorbike, killing him, the governor said, adding that American and Afghan forces had stepped up patrols in the area. 

    According to a posting on the US defence department website on Friday, 104 US soldiers have died in or around Afghanistan since its invasion after the 11 September 2001, attacks in the United States.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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