Mon, Jan 19, 2009 - Page 5 News List

Seven killed, dozens wounded in latest Afghanistan attacks

GERMANS TARGETED The Taliban said it would target any foreign troops in the country. Germany has 3,200 troops there, mainly in the quiet north


A suicide car bomb killed five people, including one US soldier, on a heavily guarded road between a US military base and the German Embassy in the Afghan capital.

Separately, a US service member died on Saturday when militants fired at a CH-47 transport helicopter and it made a “hard landing” in eastern Kunar Province, the US military said.

In a third attack on Saturday, a suicide bomber in a minivan charged a convoy of NATO troops and Afghan police in eastern Nangarhar Province, killing one civilian and wounding three others, said Ghafor Khan, a spokesman for the provincial police chief. He said three police were also wounded.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the bomb attack in Kabul and said German military officers were the targets. A spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry in Berlin said “some personnel” were wounded in the blast, but he did not give numbers. He said they had no reports of deaths.

Four Afghan civilians died and at least 21 were wounded, said General Mohammad Zahir Azimi, the Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman.

US military spokesman Colonel Jerry O’Hara said the bomb also wounded six US troops and a US civilian.

The German embassy shares a small, two-lane road with Camp Eggers, a US base that serves as the headquarters for soldiers who train Afghan police and army personnel. Dozens of armed Afghan security personnel guard the street, and blast walls of concrete and sand-filled mesh-wire boxes line the road.

A Taliban spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, said a Taliban suicide bomber named Shumse Rehman carried out the attack in a Toyota Corolla.

“The Germans have forces in the north of Afghanistan and they are involved in the killing of innocent Afghans. The Taliban will target all those countries who have forces in Afghanistan,” he said.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier condemned “this cowardly act of barbarity.”

“Germany stands by its commitment in Afghanistan,” Steinmeier said in a statement. “We will not let terror deter us from continuing our aid to the Afghan people.”

Germany has 3,200 troops in Afghanistan, mainly in the country’s north.

That region is considerably more peaceful than the country’s east or south, but German troops are still the target of occasional bomb attacks.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai also condemned the attack and offered condolences to the victims’ families.

“These kind of un-Islamic and inhumane acts will only increase people’s hatred for the terrorists,” Karzai said.

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