Afghanistan: Suicide bomber kills NATO troops, children near market

May 21st, 2012 - 1:53 am ICT by BNO News  

TARIN KOT, AFGHANISTAN (BNO NEWS) — A suicide bomber attacked a convoy of foreign troops in southern Afghanistan on Sunday, killing two coalition service members and two Afghan children, officials said. A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility.

The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said two of its service members were killed as a result of an insurgent attack in the country’s south, but gave no other details such as the location and time of the attack. The nationalities of the service members involved were also not immediately released.

But police in Uruzgan province said the foreign troops were killed when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives near an ISAF convoy at a police checkpoint in Tarin Kot, the provincial capital. The powerful explosion took place near a market, killing the ISAF troops and two Afghan children. Three ISAF service members and six children were also injured, some of them seriously.

Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi claimed responsibility for the attack, identifying the suicide bomber as a local resident named Nasrullah. “A martyrdom-seeking Mujahideen (Muslim fighter) of Islamic Emirate (Taliban) blew up his explosives vest in the middle of [a] foreign invaders dismounted patrol,” he said.

The deaths on Sunday raise the number of coalition troops killed in Afghanistan so far this year to 162, according to official figures. A total of 566 ISAF troops were killed in Afghanistan in 2011, down from 711 in 2010. A majority of the fallen troops were American and were killed in the country’s south, which is plagued by IED attacks on troops and civilians.

On Friday, two ISAF service members were killed when a rocket - possibly fired by the Taliban - struck an ISAF base in the Nari district of Kunar province. “We were informed that two soldiers of ISAF were killed and six more were injured,” a provincial official said on Saturday, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.

There are currently more than 130,000 ISAF troops in Afghanistan, including some 90,000 U.S. troops and more than 9,500 British soldiers. U.S. President Barack Obama previously ordered a drawdown of 23,000 U.S. troops by the end of this summer, and foreign combat troops are due to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

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