Twin bombs strike Afghan checkpoint, killing 1
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Two bombs exploded at a checkpoint outside a provincial governor’s compound in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, killing at least one police officer, an official said.
The explosions struck in the early morning in Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar province. The first bomb wounded a policeman, and the second was remotely detonated minutes later as police swarmed to the blast scene to secure it.
The second explosion killed one police officer and wounded at least five policemen and three civilian passers-by who were on their way to a nearby park, said Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, a spokesman for the governor
The head of the provincial health department, Dr. Baz Mohammad Shirzad, said 11 victims were taken to a local hospital where one, the police officer, died of his injuries.
At the scene later Wednesday, dried blood stained the sidewalk next to the checkpoint and the makeshift police shelter was reduced to a pile of rubble.
Abdulzai said authorities were investigating how insurgents were able to plant the bombs despite heavy security near the governor’s compound.
The Taliban have been ramping up attacks on government forces lately, seeking to destabilize Afghanistan as more foreign troops prepare to draw down from the 12-year war.
Another roadside bomb in Nangarhar on Saturday ripped through a police vehicle, killing two and wounding three others.
Meanwhile, NATO said a fourth U.S. soldier died as a result of a deadly Tuesday attack on a convoy in Afghanistan’s southern Kandahar province, the spiritual heartland of the Taliban.
The attack involving small arms fire and a suicide bomber in the Zhari district of Kandahar initially killed three U.S. soldiers. The fourth soldier died on Wednesday, said the NATO report.
So far this year, 58 international troops have been killed in Afghanistan, according to an Associated Press count. Of that tally, 44 are U.S. service members.