5 killed in Afghan suicide attack
KABUL: A suicide car bombing carried out by a man dressed as a woman killed three soldiers and up to two road workers in insurgency-hit Afghanistan, police said on Thursday.
The attack against Afghan soldiers guarding a road construction site in southeastern Khost province late Wednesday was the latest in a spate of around 25 suicide blasts around the country in the past four months.
The explosives-filled car blew up after it was stopped at an army checkpoint in the province’s Bak district, a provincial police official said on condition of anonymity.
“As soon as the car was stopped, the person dressed as a woman started shouting to attract attention,” he said. “When the soldiers and roadworkers came close to the car, the explosion took place.”
It killed three Afghan soldiers and two civilian roadworkers, one of whom was a tractor driver, he said. Another tractor driver was wounded, he said.
The defence ministry said only one civilian was killed and the car had been driven into an army convoy near the construction site.
“Three soldiers and one civilian were martyred and three soldiers were wounded in the car bomb suicide attack,” ministry spokesman General Mohammad Zahir Azimi said.
In a separate attack Wednesday, a remote-controlled bomb was detonated near an army convoy in the southern province of Kandahar. It damaged a vehicle but caused no casualties, Azimi said. Nine suspects were arrested.
The deadliest suicide blast killed at least 22 men at a wrestling match in the southern town of Spin Boldak bordering Pakistan in mid-January. The Taliban denied involvement in that blast.
The attack was followed by demonstrations in cities across the country, in some cases accusing Pakistan of not doing enough to root out Taliban militants thought to have fled into its territory after 2001.
In the latest protest about 1,000 people marched in the capital of the southern province of Helmand Thursday. “We are asking Pakistan to take strong measures against specific circles in its country who support terrorists and their suicide attackers,” demonstrator Ghulam Yahyah Dawari said in the town of Lashkar Gah.
Analysts have said the increase in suicide blasts and car bombs suggests the insurgents have adopted Iraq-style tactics or are increasingly being influenced by Al Qaeda.
Counter-terrorism police announced Wednesday the arrest of an Iraqi, an Iranian and three Pakistanis whom they alleged were planning attacks. afp