Bomb kills 2 Afghan police; insurgents kill 3 kids

A roadside bomb killed two Afghan police officers as they were destroying opium poppies in the southern province of Kandahar, while three children died from an insurgent grenade tossed during a NATO operation in the north.

Last Updated: Apr 13, 2011, 00:44 AM IST

Kabul: A roadside bomb killed two Afghan
police officers as they were destroying opium poppies in the
southern province of Kandahar on Tuesday, while three children died
from an insurgent grenade tossed during a NATO operation in
the north.

The coalition said in a statement that another four
women and children were wounded along with five Afghan and
NATO troops in the fighting in northern Faryab province.

It said the deaths occurred when an insurgent lobbed a
hand grenade into a courtyard of a compound that was being
raided.

The women and children had been placed there by
coalition forces for their safety. The statement added that
"several" insurgents were also killed.

There was no way to independently verify the account.
The European Union said someone fired a high-velocity bullet
at the office of its special representative to Afghanistan.

The bullet hit the armoured office window of Ambassador
Vygaudas Usackas, a former Lithuanian Foreign Minister. The
statement said no one was hurt and the incident at the EU
compound in Kabul was being investigated.

The two police officers who died Tuesday were part of
a team eradicating opium poppies in Kandahar`s Zhari district,
according to a police statement. Two other officers were
wounded in the blast.

The spring poppy harvest is slowly coming to full
bloom across southern Afghanistan. Police said that Afghan
security forces have so far eradicated almost 2,900 acres
(1,200 hectares).

Opium poppies are the south`s biggest cash crop, often
smuggled to Pakistan`s lawless tribal areas where the sap from
the plants is refined into heroin for sale in Western markets
and Russia. Funds are used to fuel the Taliban and the
fighting season is expected to get fully under way once the
crop is harvested.

In other developments, NATO and the provincial
governor of southwestern Helmand province condemned the
assassination of a district council member by insurgents while
he was praying in a mosque late Monday. A statement said three
people were being questioned in connection with the murder of
Ghulam Dastageer.

The Afghan Intelligence Agency also announced that a
Pakistani man has been arrested on suspicion of leading a
botched assault on a NATO base last week that left seven
insurgents dead.

PTI