NATO soldier, eight Afghans killed in bomb attacks

June 13th, 2009 - 6:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban Kabul, June 13 (DPA) A suicide attack against a convoy of fuel tankers bound for NATO forces in southern Afghanistan killed eight drivers and wounded 21 others, while a NATO soldier was killed in a roadside attack in the same region, officials said Saturday.
The attack near the main market of Geriskh district in southern Helmand province took place late Friday when a bomber rammed his explosive-laden vehicle into the convoy parked near a NATO military base, district chief Abdul Ahad said.

Eight drivers were killed and 21 others, including drivers, their assistants and local shopkeepers were wounded in the blast, he said.

Duad Ahmadi, spokesman for the provincial governor, said eight tankers and four pickup trucks used by security forces to escort the convoy were burned. Ahamdi said the bomber was on foot and had tied explosives around his body.

Taliban spokesman Qari Mohammad Yousif Ahmadi said one of their fighters carried out the attack and claimed that 33 security guards were killed and 13 others were wounded.

Ahmadi, speaking over telephone from an undisclosed location, said 17 vehicles were destroyed in the blast.

Most of the NATO forces in Helmand province are British soldiers. Several thousand US troops, who are part of 21,000 additional US forces expected to arrive in Afghanistan by summer, will also be stationed in the province.

Helmand, the largest opium-producing province in the country, is the main hub for Taliban militants in the southern region.

Also on Friday, a soldier serving under the banner of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force was killed by a roadside bomb, the alliance said in a statement.

The statement did not reveal the nationality of the soldier, nor say where exactly in the region the incident took place. More than 70,000 international troops from 42 nations are stationed in the country.

Four Afghan police and two civilians were wounded in a separate blast in southern Kandahar city, the capital of Kandahar province, Friday night, police official Abdul Khaliq Hamdard said.

Taliban militants rely heavily on the use of suicide and roadside attacks in fighting the Western-backed Afghan government.

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