A mother who tried to stop her son from carrying out a suicide bomb attack triggered an explosion in the family's home in southern Afghanistan that killed the would-be bomber, his mother and three siblings, police said.
The would-be bomber had been studying at a madrassa, or religious school, in Pakistan, and when he returned to his home in Uruzgan Province at the weekend announced he planned a suicide attack, Interior Ministry spokesman Zemeri Bashary said on Monday.
Surviving family members told police that the mother had tried to stop her son from carrying out the attack, and that their struggle apparently triggered the suicide vest explosion, said Juma Gul Himat, Uruzgan's police chief. The man's brother and two sisters were also killed.
Relatives said the man gave the family US$3,600 before telling them of his plans to stage an attack, Himat said.
Bashary said the explosion happened on Sunday, but Himat said it occurred on Monday around 11am. It was not clear why the two accounts differed.
A second would-be bomber told authorities that his handlers in Pakistan told him to launch a suicide attack in Afghanistan's Paktika Province because there were "infidels" there. But the bomber saw people praying in a mosque and identified himself to police as a suicide bomber, said Bashary.
But as the man tried to take off his explosive vest, it detonated, killing him on Friday, Bashary said.
Meanwhile, in central Afghanistan, Taliban militants ambushed a NATO patrol, leaving about a dozen soldiers wounded, said a NATO official.
Troops called in an airstrike in Wardak Province, but there were no immediate reports of casualties, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, as he was not authorized to comment on the matter.
The official did not identify the nationality of the wounded troops. Most of the troops in Wardak Province, which borders Kabul, are Turkish.
Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, meanwhile, told the Australian Broadcasting Corp in an interview that aired on Monday that Afghanistan has suffered "the law of unintended consequences" because of the war in Iraq.
"We did suffer by movements of people, by movements of extremist ideology, by transfer of knowledge by extremists to one another," Karzai said. "There is no doubt that al-Qaeda is linked all across the world," he said.
Karzai said he knew "with confidence" that al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and Taliban chief Mullah Omar were not in Afghanistan. But he said he did not have "precise information" on where they were. Afghan officials say the two are hiding in Pakistan.
The US military said on Monday it had looked into allegations that soldiers had desecrated the Koran during a raid on an Afghan home and found no evidence that soldiers had defaced the Muslim holy book.
Villagers alleged that soldiers ripped, knifed and burned a Koran during a raid.
Major Chris Belcher, a spokesman for the US-led coalition, which oversees Special Forces soldiers who usually carry out nighttime raids, said on Monday that the allegations had been investigated and were found to be baseless.
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