Wave of suicide attacks kill 4 in Afghanistan

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AFP) — Three suicide bombers struck southern Afghanistan Tuesday, leaving four people dead and about a dozen wounded, police and the British military said.The deadliest attack was in the border town of Spin Boldak, where a man with explosives strapped to his body blew himself up in the middle of a crowd of people who had just crossed over from Pakistan, a border police commander said.

“Three civilians were killed on the spot. Six injured were brought to hospital on the Pakistan side and a 14-year-old injured Afghan boy died there,” General Mohammad Raziq said.

The attacker struck among people who were being searched at the busy border post, he said.

There were also two suicide bomb explosions minutes apart in Lashkar Gah, capital of the southern province of Helmand.

The first hit a convoy of an international aid agency in the centre of the town, the British military component of the NATO-led force that has a base there told AFP. “The attacker is believed to have been killed and there was one minor international casualty from the convoy,” a spokesman told AFP.

The Afghan police said NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was involved, but this was rejected by the British spokesman which said the agency, which he could not identify, had its own security.

“Two children and two laborers nearby were wounded,” Helmand province deputy police chief Isau Khan told AFP, confirming it was a suicide attack.

About 15 minutes later, a man with explosives strapped to his body was noticed walking towards an Afghan National Army (ANA) compound in the city, the capital of Helmand Province. “The guards warned him to stop but he did not and as they fired warning shots, the attacker detonated explosives strapped to his body,”

“He was blown to pieces. One ANA soldier and one ANA officer were wounded as a result,” Khan said.

Helmand has seen major clashes between ISAF troops and the Taliban this year, and several devastating suicide blasts last year. The province is considered home to several hardcore Taliban leaders allied with drug traffickers, with Helmand producing most of the country’s illegal opium.

The NATO force and the Afghan army launched their biggest operation in the province a week ago.

Operation Achilles, involving 5,500 international and Afghan troops, is aimed against Taliban and foreign fighters and their allies in the drugs trade. Afghanistan produces more than 90 percent of the world’s opium.

The Taleban has vowed a wave of suicide bombings this year as part of its campaign against the government and its international allies.

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