Fatal blast is claimed by Taliban

Posted: July 10, 2012

KABUL, Afghanistan - The Taliban took responsibility Monday for a bomb blast in Afghanistan that killed six American troops, while other militants launched suicide attacks on two police headquarters that left 20 people dead, according to officials.

German Brig. Gen. Gunter Katz, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition, said the six Americans were killed Sunday when their armored vehicle struck a bomb planted in eastern Afghanistan. He said a seventh American soldier was killed in a separate insurgent attack in the south.

The deadly attacks showed the militants' resilience, though the target date for NATO's handover of security responsibility to local forces is less than 18 months away.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack in Wardak province, just south of Kabul, in a statement. The six killings were the latest American casualties caused by bombs planted by insurgents along roads, paths, or mountain tracks.

Coalition and Afghan forces are trying to secure areas of Wardak that insurgents use as a gateway into the Afghan capital, where they stage high-profile attacks on Afghan government and NATO targets.

Wardak provincial police chief Gen. Abdul Qayum Baqizoi said that after the explosion in the Jalrez district, a coalition air strike killed a local Taliban commander and wounded three insurgents.

In the south, three suicide bombers riding in a three-wheeled vehicle blew themselves up Monday afternoon in Kandahar city, said Kandahar provincial spokesman Ahmad Jawed Faisal.

A short time later, more suicide bombers tried to attack the police headquarters in Kandahar, but they were gunned down by police before they could get into the compound, Faisal said. Three policemen and two children were killed in the attack. An additional 18 police and 12 civilians were wounded.

A total of 14 suicide attackers, who fired at police for about two hours, blew themselves up or were shot and killed by police, Kandahar officials said.

Militants also attacked a police headquarters building in Shibirghan, the capital of Jawzjan province in the north. Provincial governor Mohammad Aleem Saaie said a suicide attacker on a bicycle blew himself up near the headquarters, wounding 26 people.

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