Afghan blast kills five policemen: officials

KHOST: A roadside bomb has killed five Afghan policemen on patrol in the eastern province of Paktia, officials said Sunday, the latest in a series of deadly insurgent attacks.


The blast in Zurmat district in the troubled province bordering Pakistan hit a police vehicle Saturday evening and killed all five officers on board, provincial police chief Zulmai Oryakhail told AFP.

The incident and death toll was confirmed by the provincial governor’s spokesman Naqib Ahmad Attal.

No group or individual immediately claimed responsibility but both officials blamed Taliban militants for the attack.

Roadside bombs are the favourite weapon of the Islamist militants fighting to oust the Western-backed Kabul government.

Separately a bomb explosion wounded at least eight civilians in Asad Abad, the capital of Kunar province also on the border with Pakistan, provincial police chief Abdul Habib Sayedkhili told AFP.

Militants frequently target Afghan police and military, but the surge in attacks has also taken a heavy toll on civilians.

Nearly 1,600 civilians were killed and 3,329 injured in the first half of this year, according to UN figures.

Nato ended its combat mission in Afghanistan last December and pulled out the bulk of its troops, leaving the front-line fight to Afghan forces.

A 13,000-strong residual foreign force remains for training and counter-terrorism operations.

More than 20 Afghan civilians and police wounded in attacks
Three people, including two police officers, were wounded in a suicide attack Sunday in Afghanistan, while 21 other civilians were wounded in a separate attack.

Zia Durani, spokesman for the police chief in southern Kandahar province, said that the suicide car bomber targeted a police checkpoint in the Daman district.

Elsewhere, 16 civilians were wounded after a bomb hidden near an electric station exploded in eastern Kunar province, said Gen. Abdul Habib Sayedkhaili, the provincial police chief.

Meanwhile five civilians were wounded after a bomb attached to a motorbike exploded in Aibak, the capital of northern Samangan province, said Sediq Azizi, spokesman for the governor.

No any group has immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Separately, hundreds of people, including government officials, gathered in the capital Kabul on Sunday to mark the 4th anniversary of the assassination of former president Burhanuddin Rabbani during an official ceremony under tight security.

Rabbani was the head of the country’s high peace council when he was assassinated by a suicide bomber posing a messenger inside his home in Kabul in September 2011.