Blasts, ambush kill 30 people in Afghanistan (Lead)

May 5th, 2009 - 1:11 am ICT by IANS  

Taliban Kabul, May 4 (DPA) A provincial mayor along with six others were killed in a suicide attack in eastern Afghanistan Monday, while 15 civilians, six private security guards and two Taliban militants were killed in separate attacks elsewhere in the country, officials said.
In the latest attack, a mayor, three of his bodyguards and three civilians were killed and three civilians were wounded Monday when a suicide bomber attacked the municipal office in Metarlam, the capital of Laghman province, the interior ministry statement said.

The bomber, who had strapped explosives around his body, also died in the attack, it said.

Taliban militants took responsibility for the bombing in a statement posted on their website.

Separately, a roadside bomb blew up a tractor carrying civilians in the Shamalzai district of southern Zabul province Monday morning, killing 12 civilians, Wazir Jawadi, district’s administrative chief, said.

Four women and two children were among those killed, Jawadi said. He held Taliban militants responsible for the attack.

Meanwhile, Taliban militants ambushed a convoy carrying supplies for NATO forces in Qalat district of Zabul province Monday, killing six private security guards, who were escorting the convoy, Abdul Rahman Sarjang, provincial police chief, said.

Sarjang said that two civilians were also killed in the firefight that happened on the Kabul-Kandahar highway.

Two militants were killed elsewhere in Zabul province when the bomb they were trying to plant on a roadside detonated prematurely, he said.

The Taliban rely heavily on suicide attacks and roadside bombings as part of their campaign against the Afghan government and around 70,000 international troops stationed in the country. The militants were responsible for more than 120 suicide bombings last year.

The militants have vowed to increase their attacks on the Afghan government and NATO forces in the country under the Nasrat (victory) operation they launched last week.

In western Herat province, NATO-led troops killed an Afghan child when they opened fire on a vehicle which was approaching their convoy and did not stop despite hand signals and warning shots, the alliance said in a statement Monday.

Wary of suicide bombers, who often attack their forces by vehicles packed with explosives, NATO forces have killed several Afghan civilians in the past after they did not heed warnings to stay away from their military convoys.

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