Kandahar (Afghanistan): Two suicide attackers were shot dead today as they attempted to enter the compound of a US-linked international aid organisation in a southern Afghan town, an official said.
The bombers were wearing explosives-packed vests and were
killed at the gates of International Relief and Development
(IRD) in Lashkar Gah, capital of Helmand province, provincial
spokesman Daud Ahmadi told.
"The two suicide bombers were shot and killed by the IRD
guards, luckily their explosives did not explode," Ahmadi
Lashkar Gah is 20 kilometres (12 miles) away from a major
US-led offensive in Helmand province, testing a new
counter-insurgency strategy aimed at wiping out the Taliban
and drug-trafficking cartels.
IRD implements projects on behalf of the US Agency for
International Development, Ahmadi said, including helping
farmers market their products, improving food security and
other agriculture-related projects.
Helmand is a hotbed for the Taliban, who have been waging
an increasingly virulent insurgency since their regime was
overthrown in the 2001 US-led invasion following the September
11 attacks on the United States.
The United States and NATO are raising to 150,000 the
number of foreign troops in Afghanistan by August under a
strategy marrying military and civilian efforts to eradicate
the militant presence and establish Afghan sovereignty.