September 29, 2011

Bomb Set Up On A Motorbike Exploded Near An Airport In Western Afghanistan, Killing 1 Female Policewoman And 2 Civilians; 10 Wounded!

The Boston Globe
written by Deb Riechmann
Thursday September 29, 2011

KABUL, Afghanistan—A police officer says a bomb set up on a motorbike exploded near an airport in western Afghanistan, killing one female policewoman and two civilians.

Sayd Sharif Mohammadi, the police commander for the airport in Herat city, says the attack on Thursday morning targeted five policewomen riding in a police vehicle on their way to their jobs at the airport.

Mohammadi says the bomb was detonated by remote control.

He says the explosion also wounded 10 people -- the other four female police officers riding in the police vehicle, its driver and five civilians who were near the blast.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- The monthly average of armed clashes, roadside bombings and other violence in Afghanistan is running 39 percent ahead of last year's figure, U.N. reported Wednesday, with more complex suicide operations involving multiple bombers and gunmen.

The statistics show that the intensity of the nearly decade-old war is growing, not abating, as the U.S. and other nations start to withdraw some forces with an eye toward pulling all combat troops out by the end of 2014. The Taliban's resilience raises questions about whether the Afghan government and its Western allies have a solid grip on security -- and whether the Afghan forces can ever secure the nation by themselves.

NATO says it has made progress in taming the Taliban insurgency by routing its strongholds in the south. But the Taliban have hit back with several high-profile attacks in the capital and assassinations of government officials and senior Afghan leaders.

In its quarterly report on Afghanistan, the U.N. said that as of the end of August, the average monthly number of incidents stood at 2,108, up 39 percent over the same period a year earlier. It did not provide comparable data. The figures include insurgent attacks as well as assaults by NATO and Afghan forces on Taliban figures and positions.

"Armed clashes and improvised explosive devices continued to constitute the majority of incidents," U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his report. "The south and southeast of the country, particularly around the city of Kandahar, continued to be the focus of military activity and accounted for approximately two-thirds of the total security incidents."

The U.S.-led coalition said it disputes the U.N. figures and planned to hold a news conference Thursday to release its own statistics related to overall violence trends in Afghanistan.

Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban insurgency, was where most of the 33,000 additional U.S. troops that President Barack Obama sent to Afghanistan were deployed. The extra U.S. and other NATO forces succeeded in routing insurgents from their stronghold and now are trying to hold those areas in the south.

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