Five NATO troops, three Afghans killed

Last Updated: Thursday, September 29, 2011 - 12:40

Kabul: Two Afghan policewomen and a civilian were killed by a mine on their way to work on Thursday, a day after another five NATO soldiers died in the 10-year war against the Taliban.

The policewomen and civilian died when their vehicle was blown up by a remote-controlled mine on their way to work at the civilian airport serving the western city of Herat, officials said.

Three foreign soldiers were also killed by an improvised explosive device (IED) in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said, along with two others in separate incidents.

The latest deaths came a day after the United Nations released figures saying that violent incidents in the Afghan war increased nearly 40 percent in the first eight months of this year compared to the same period last year.

ISAF, which is leading efforts to reverse the Taliban insurgency, disputes the figures, calling them "inconsistent with the data that we have collected".

Mohammad Rafiq Shaheer, a spokesman for Herat hospital, said: "A remote-controlled mine explosion on a police vehicle on the Herat airport road has killed three people, two policewomen and a civilian, and wounded 10 people, four policewomen and a policeman and five other civilians."

He added that the attack took place at around 8:00 am.

Noor Khan Neikzad, a police spokesman in Herat, confirmed the blast but said he did not have the toll.

The incident came two days after 16 wedding guests including 11 children were killed when their bus hit a roadside bomb elsewhere in Herat province, which borders Iran.

Meanwhile, ISAF said five of its soldiers were killed on Wednesday.

Three died in an IED attack in eastern Afghanistan, it said, without giving any further details in line with policy.

Separately, two other soldiers died in separate incidents, one due to an insurgent attack in Wardak province, eastern Afghanistan and another "as a result of a non-battle related injury" in the south, ISAF said.

The United Nations says security incidents averaged 2,108 a month in the first eight months of 2011, up 39 percent on the same period in 2010.

ISAF is set to give further details on Thursday of its own assessment of security statistics.

At least 459 foreign troops have been killed in Afghanistan this year, according to independent website iCasualties.org.

There are 140,000 foreign forces in Afghanistan, some 100,000 of them from the United States, fighting a Taliban-led insurgency.

All combat troops are due to leave by the end of 2014 although thousands are likely to remain in training and mentoring roles.

Bureau Report



First Published: Thursday, September 29, 2011 - 12:40

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