South Asia News
NATO forces thwart suicide attack near Afghan capital
Jan 12, 2009, 9:16 GMT
Kabul - NATO forces killed a would-be suicide bomber as he was approaching their convoy in a central province near Kabul city, officials said Monday.
The international troops opened fire on a vehicle packed with explosives in Sayed Abad district of Wardak province Monday morning, said Adam Khan Serat, spokesman for the provincial governor.
'The vehicle exploded and the bomber inside the vehicle was killed in the blast,' he said, adding the troops did not suffer casualties.
A NATO spokesman in Kabul said his office was aware of an incident involving troops in the area, but did not give more information.
No group claimed responsibility for Monday's attack. Taliban militants have taken responsibility for such attacks in the past. The rebels carried out more than 120 suicide bombings in 2008, which targeted mainly Afghan or international forces but caused mostly casualties among civilians.
The bombers often conduct the attacks by detonating explosive-laden vehicles, or wear explosive vests wired to a detonator. Failing to detonate the explosives themselves, several bombers have recently been detonated by their comrades using remote-controlled devices, according to officials.
Separately, six suspected Taliban fighters were killed and four others were wounded in a clash with Afghan forces backed by NATO troops in Spin Masjed village in Gerishk district of southern province of Helmand on Sunday, an interior ministry statement said.
The southern region is the main hub for Taliban-led insurgents in Afghanistan. The region witnessed the fiercest battles in 2008.
US vice president-elect Joseph Biden, who was in Afghanistan on a two-day trip, travelled to the turbulent region on Sunday, where he reiterated his government's determination to fight the militants in the area.
The bulk of up to 30,000 additional US troops expected to arrive in Afghanistan this year will be stationed in southern provinces of Kandahar and Helmand, where the insurgents are the most entrenched.