Roadside bombs kill US service member, 8 Afghan soldiers
KABUL, Afghanistan - Roadside bombs killed eight Afghan soldiers and a US service member in separate incidents in Afghanistan, officials said yesterday.
NATO confirmed the American died Thursday in eastern Afghanistan, but provided no other details. Also Thursday, an Afghan Army vehicle hit a roadside bomb in Uruzgan Province in central Afghanistan. Army commander Abdul Hamid said eight soldiers who were inside the vehicle were killed as they were returning from the provincial capital of Tarin Kot.
In Logar province, south of Kabul, two local intelligence guards were killed yesterday at a dog fight in the provincial capital of Pul-e Alam, said Mustafa Mosseini, chief of police in the province. He said a suspected suicide bomber entered the dog fight and opened fire, killing the two guards. Other intelligence officers killed the gunman, who did not detonate his alleged cache.
In western Afghanistan, three rockets were fired last night at the new US Consulate office in Herat, but no casualties were reported, said Akramueein Yawar, the commander of the Afghan National Police in the western region of the country. He said three rockets were fired, but only one hit the building housing the consulate. No US staff were inside the building at the time of the attack, he said.
The US ambassador to Afghanistan, Karl Eikenberry, on Dec. 16 signed an agreement with the governor of Herat province to lease a hotel to be used as a new US Consulate in western Afghanistan.
Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman at the US Embassy in Kabul, said she could not confirm the attack on the former hotel. “The local authorities are investigating,’’ she said. “The US has leased this property for use as a new consulate in Herat, but we are not currently occupying the building.’’
In southern Afghanistan, NATO said Afghan and international forces on Friday found a truck filled with 10 tons of fertilizer containing ammonium nitrate, a chemical often used in making explosives. The troops destroyed the fertilizer in southern Kandahar Province, returned the truck to the owner and compensated him for the fertilizer.
The government of Afghanistan gave the coalition force permission in September 2009 to confiscate any supplies of ammonium nitrate fertilizers being kept or transported in the country; farmers are urged to use fertilizer containing urea nitrate instead.
Earlier this week, NATO said international air and ground forces recovered more than 6,000 pounds of illegal drugs in the Maywand district of Kandahar Province. Before dawn on Wednesday, scouts in two helicopters observed a suspicious vehicle that was trying to evade them. Two people inside the vehicle fled when nearby soldiers tried to intercept the truck.
Inside the truck, the soldiers found more than 5,300 pounds of processed opium, more than 1,000 pounds of wet opium paste, about 50 pounds of heroin and multiple firearms with ammunition. The suspects were detained and the drugs were destroyed on site, NATO said.