Suicide bomber attacks military convoy near Kabul

Last Updated: Friday, November 13, 2009 - 20:14

Kabul: The Taliban claimed responsibility for
a suicide bombing on Friday that wounded six people near the
Afghan capital, while Britain`s prime minister suggested 5,000
more NATO troops could be deployed to the troubled country.

NATO said the suicide bombing occurred at 0900 IST on the
Jalalabad road, which is used extensively by international
forces and frequently attacked. In August, another Taliban
suicide bomber targeted a NATO convoy there killing at least
eight people.

NATO said reports on Friday`s attack indicated Afghan
civilians, NATO service members and civilian contractors had
been wounded. No NATO members were killed.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid sent The Associated
Press a message saying the bombing was carried out by a
Taliban suicide car bomber targeting an international military
convoy.

Abdul Ghafar Sayed Zada, chief of criminal investigation
for Kabul police, said three civilians and three foreigners
were wounded.

At the scene Nabi, a taxi driver, said he was driving
down the road when he heard a "big bang".

"Everything went dark," said Nabi, who like many Afghans
uses one name. "I just managed to take myself out of the area.
I don`t know what happened then, but the attack was on the
foreigners."

Lt. Col. Todd Vician, a spokesman for NATO, said the
bombing was "another attack by insurgents that injured the
people of Afghanistan and our personnel who are partnering
with the Afghan security forces to bring better development,
governance and security to Afghanistan".

"This attack will not deter us from continuing our
important mission," he said.

NATO`s top commander in Afghanistan, US Gen. Stanley
McChrystal, has asked for an extra 40,000 troops to be sent to
Afghanistan to bolster the 71,000 already here.

But President Barack Obama has not yet made a decision
on sending more troops -- a delay that has found an echo in
Europe, where coalition leaders in NATO are weighing whether
to send help or bow to public demands for a speedy exit.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said
yesterday that allied nations have privately pledged more
help, but he stopped short of saying that countries would send
more troops.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown today said he could
secure commitments for 5,000 more NATO forces in Afghanistan.

Speaking during an interview with the BBC, Brown said
Washington and London need the 43 other nations involved in
the International Security Assistance Force to step up to help
share the burden.

"I think we can probably get another 5,000 forces into
Afghanistan," he said.

Bureau Report

First Published: Friday, November 13, 2009 - 20:14

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