x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Suicide car bomber kills one in southern Afghanistan

Three Italian soldiers also killed in car accident.

International and Afghanistan security forces patrol after a suicide bomber killed a policeman in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar on Monday.
International and Afghanistan security forces patrol after a suicide bomber killed a policeman in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar on Monday.

KABUL // A suicide car bomber attacked a police station in Kandahar on Monday, killing one police officer in the blast, officials said.

The attacker drove a Toyota Corolla up to the checkpoint outside of the police station and detonated his explosives, said the city's police chief, Abdul Raziq.

Four people were wounded in the explosion - two police officers and two civilians, he added.

Gunfire could be heard immediately following the blast, but Mr Raziq said the shots came from the police. A civilian compound nearby was also destroyed, according to a statement from the Kandahar government's media office.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but it fit the pattern of Taliban assaults, which usually focus on government installations or security forces.

Also on Monday, three Italian soldiers died in a car accident in western Afghanistan, officials said.

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano issued a condolence message expressing his "deep emotion" over the news of the deaths in Herat province.

Nato forces had previously said three soldiers died in "an operation" but Mr Napolitano's statement confirmed that they were killed in an accident.

The Italian soldiers were in a convoy going to survey a canal project in Herat's Shindand district when their vehicle crashed into a canal, said provincial police spokesman Rauf Ahmadi. The Italian news agency ANSA said that the soldiers' armoured vehicle overturned while crossing a stream.

Kandahar has continued to be the target of attacks despite a massive campaign by Nato and Afghan forces last year to increase security in and around the city.

Attacks have also continued in other parts of the country. Shindand - where the Italians died - was the site of a drive-by shooting on Sunday.

Mohammad Salim, a police commander in Shindand, said two men on a motorcycle drove up and fired shots at police officers who were shopping in the market. One officer and a boy who was standing nearby were killed.

And a Turkish engineer who was working on construction projects in Shindand was kidnapped over the weekend, Mr Salim said. He said kidnappers forced the man into a car as he was leaving the airport on Saturday. He did not provide further details.