A suicide bomber blew himself up in a town in eastern Afghanistan yesterday, killing at least 10 people in the second such attack claimed by the Taliban in two days.
The attacker struck at a busy market and bus stop in the town of Gardez, 100km south of Kabul.
"Ten of our civilian countrymen were martyred and 30 others were wounded," the Interior Ministry said in a statement.
The attacker was on foot, it said.
Most of the 30 wounded who were admitted to the main hospital in Gardez were in a bad condition. Several wounded were rushed to the capital, nearly three hours' drive away.
The attacker's target was unclear, police official Ghulam Dastgir said. Most of the suicide bombings in the country are aimed at Afghan and foreign military forces.
A witness, Sorat Khan, said that a military vehicle of the international forces in Afghanistan passed through the area minutes before the bombing.
"When it had gone, the explosion took place," Khan said.
Three German soldiers with NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) force were killed and two wounded on Saturday when a suicide attacker blew himself up in a busy bazaar in the northern town of Kunduz.
Six Afghans were killed and a dozen wounded.
It was the deadliest incident involving the German deployment to Afghanistan since 2003 when four German soldiers were killed in a suicide bombing in Kabul.
"These treacherous murders fill us with horror and terror," German Chancellor Angela Merkel said.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai said in a statement: "The enemies of Afghanistan must understand that they will never be able to hamper the progress of Afghanistan with their acts of cowardice."
The Taliban movement claimed responsibility for both suicide bombings.
A man who was chased by ISAF soldiers in Gardez on Saturday, after running away from a bomb-filled car, had also been planning a suicide attack, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed said.
Three ISAF soldiers were wounded in the incident when their vehicle rolled over.
The Taliban vowed last week to start a new wave of violence to avenge the killing of its top military commander Mullah Dadullah on May 11.
Military officials have also warned of an increase in suicide bombings by the insurgent group, which uses al-Qaeda-style terror tactics as part of a growing campaign against the government and international troops.
"This is the so-called fighting season -- we expected to see more suicide bombing around the country," ISAF spokesman Major John Thomas said yesterday.
The military forces trying to beat back the relentless insurgency have also intensified their operations in recent weeks.
More than 30 rebel fighters were killed in the southern province of Ghazni early yesterday in a sweep involving foreign forces, provincial police commander Alishah Ahmadzai said.
ISAF announced in a statement that "a significant number of Taliban extremist leaders were successfully targeted and killed in a precision air strike" in the south late on Saturday.
It did not give the location of the strike.
MORE ARRIVALS ALLOWED: Taiwan yesterday increased its cap on arrivals to 60,000 from 50,000 ahead of a full border opening with a weekly cap of 150,000 on Oct. 13 Travelers arriving in Taiwan from Oct. 13 would no longer be required to quarantine on arrival and visitors of all nationalities would be allowed to enter, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) announced yesterday. However, the number of arrivals would be capped at 150,000 per week, he added. Travelers aged two or older would be given four rapid antigen COVID-19 test kits on arrival and be asked to monitor their health for seven days, Cabinet spokesman Lo Ping-cheng (羅秉成) told a news conference. Under the new arrival protocol, travelers would have to take a test on the day of arrival or the day after, followed
SOVEREIGN NATION: The Chinese premier’s remarks about the CCP’s resolve to achieve unification sought to undermine the legitimacy of Taiwan, the MAC said Taiwan will never accept Beijing’s attempts to undermine its sovereignty, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said yesterday, after the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) at its National Day celebrations in Beijing vowed to achieve unification with Taiwan. The CCP’s statement was not conducive to peaceful cross-strait relations, the council said. The event, hosted by the Chinese State Council, featured Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平), Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (李克強), the other five CCP Politburo Standing Committee members and Vice President Wang Qishan (王岐山), as well as 500 guests from China and abroad. Taiwanese based in China also attended the ceremony, Xinhua news agency
The Kaohsiung District Court has ordered a man to pay a convenience store NT$600 (US$18.83) in compensation for using his own mug to refill a pot of tea eggs, ruling against the store manager’s NT$1 million claim. In May, during the peak of a domestic COVID-19 surge, a man surnamed Lee (李) added water from his mug to a pot of tea eggs after seeing it was nearly dry. A clerk stopped Lee, then discarded all 60 eggs in the pot, worth an estimated NT$600, after consulting with the manager, it said. The manager sued Lee, demanding NT$1 million for damage to the
Washington is evaluating a transfer of weapons systems requested by Taiwan, according to a copy of a report by the Ministry of National Defense (MND) that is to be submitted to lawmakers tomorrow. Asked whether the AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile would be among the weapons systems, the ministry refused to comment, but said that it would not rule out announcing the specifics later this year. The ministry’s domestically sourced high-priority military investments include submarines, next-generation light frigates, rescue ships, advanced trainer jets and infantry fighting vehicles, the report said. Planned deals include F-16A and F-16B jet performance upgrades, navigation and targeting