Bomber strikes Nato-Afghan convoy

A car bomber has struck a convoy of Nato and Afghan troops, killing himself and one civilian, a day after a bomb blast at a market left 17 civilians dead and 47 wounded, officials say.

    The convoy was hit on the main road to Kandahar airport (file)

    Two other civilians were wounded in the attack on Tuesday.

    Colonel Sher Shah, who was in the convoy, said the bomber hit the convoy on the main road linking Kandahar with the city's airport.

    No Nato soldiers were injured, he said.

    A civilian driving near the convoy died in the blast, while another civilian and an Afghan soldier were wounded, Shah said, adding that the bodies of the civilian and the bomber lay on the road.

    On Monday, another bomber targeting a former police chief blew himself up in a market in neighbouring Helmand province, killing 17 people and wounding 47, according to the provincial governor's spokesman.

    That blast wrecked shop fronts and left body parts and blood-soaked turbans among shattered glass in the bazaar of Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province.

    All the 17 dead were civilians, and 15 children were among the wounded, said spokesman Ghulam Muheddin.

    Nato and the United Nations said it was a suicide attack.

    Taliban message

    But Qari Yousaf Ahmadi, who claims to speak for the Taliban, said Monday's attack was conducted with a remote-controlled bomb, and that it targeted a former Lashkar Gah police chief because he had served under the pro-communist government during the Soviet occupation of the 1980s.

    The target and his son were killed.

    "We are very sad about the civilian casualties," Ahmadi said in a phone call from an undisclosed location.


    We only wanted to kill this former police chief."

    Taliban fighters rely on civilians to provide them with shelter and sanctuary during their insurgency against foreign and Afghan troops, particularly in their former southern heartland.

    Ahmadi often calls journalists to claim responsibility for attacks, although his exact ties to the Taliban leadership are unclear.

    Bloodiest period

    The attack was the second major bombing to kill civilians this month in southern Afghanistan, where insurgents are battling Nato-led troops and Afghan forces trying to extend the weak control of the central government.

    Afghanistan is undergoing its bloodiest period of fighting since US-led troops ousted the Taliban government in late 2001 for not handing Osama bin Laden over to the US.

    More than 1,600 people have died across Afghanistan in the past four months, according to an Associated Press tally of reports by US, Nato and Afghan officials.

    SOURCE: Unspecified


    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    We visualised 1.2 million votes at the UN since 1946. What do you think are the biggest issues facing the world today?

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.