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Suicide Bomber in Rams Car at Militia Base

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Topic: Suicide Bomber in Rams Car at Militia Base
Posted By: MateenK
Subject: Suicide Bomber in Rams Car at Militia Base
Date Posted: 21-Mar-2017 at 12:55pm

Suicide Bomber in Afghanistan Rams Car at Militia Base, Officials Say

 

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — At least four and possibly as many as 14 members of a militia belonging to the Afghan intelligence agency were killed in a suicide car bombing at their base in the southern province of Helmand, Afghan officials said on Tuesday.

The attack late Monday was in Gereshk District, just outside the provincial capital, Lashkar Gah, which has been largely besieged by Taliban forces for more than a year.

Bashir Ahmad Shakir, the head of the security committee on the Helmand provincial council, said the bomber on Monday had rammed his car, a Toyota Corolla, into the base compound on the main road leading to Lashkar Gah. The bomber had selected a vehicle that closely resembled another Corolla that the militia had been using, timing his attack when the base’s car was away.

“As a result of the powerful explosion, 14 have been killed, and six others have suffered serious injuries,” Mr. Shakir said.

Omar Zwak, a spokesman for the governor of Helmand, disputed the number of casualties. He said that four people had been killed and seven wounded, but he conceded that the casualties could rise, as the explosion had collapsed structures on the base.

The dire situation in Helmand has drawn new attention to the American-led NATO mission in Afghanistan. About 300 American Marines are expected to return to the province this spring. The deployment has great significance for the corps, which suffered many casualties during its long fight in the province, ending with the https://www.nytimes.com/video/multimedia/100000003198388/british-us-troops-mark-withdrawal-from-helmand-province.html" rel="nofollow - On Sunday, three http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/a/us_army/index.html?inline=nyt-org" rel="nofollow - Capt. Bill Salvin of the United States Navy, a military spokesman, said an investigation was underway to determine the cause of the shooting. He said that the injuries of the three soldiers were not believed to be life-threatening and that the men had been airlifted to Germany for treatment.

Afghan military officials with the 215 Maiwand Corps, to which the commando belonged, said that the shooting was a mistake and not an insider attack. Such “green on blue” attacks were so rampant a few years ago that they threatened the future of the American training mission for Afghan forces.

“The soldier who mistakenly shot was loyal and brave and has fought successfully against the enemy,” said Shakil Ahmad, a spokesman for the Afghan corps.

He said that the commando, from the northern province of Balkh, had been guarding the tower when he fired accidentally and that there had been no dispute before the episode. He was wounded when American soldiers returned fire and died at a hospital.

In northern Afghanistan, fighting between different factions of a police force relented at least temporarily on Tuesday, after the arrest of a police commander accused of killing the son of another, according to Karim Yurush, the spokesman for the Faryab provincial police force.

Mr. Yurush said that Ahmad Shah Malang, who leads the Faryab police’s antiterrorism department, had been arrested by Afghan National Army soldiers and taken to Mazar-i-Sharif and was to be transferred to Kabul for a criminal investigation of the case. The commander whose son he is accused of killing, Nizam Qaisari, accused the government of putting Mr. Malang in a guesthouse rather than in a prison.

In addition to Mr. Qaisari’s son, four police officers were killed during fighting between the two commanders’ followers.

“I don’t know what kind of government is this, a high-ranking police commander is murdering a university student and then he is resting in Governor Atta’s guesthouse,” Mr. Qaisari said by telephone, referring to Atta Muhammad Noor, the powerful governor of Balkh Province.
 
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/21/world/asia/afghanistan-helmand-suicide-car-bomb.html" rel="nofollow - https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/21/world/asia/afghanistan-helmand-suicide-car-bomb.html



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