Afghan official: Roadside bomb in south kills 6 policemen

Monday, July 19, 2010

Roadside bomb kills 6 Afghan policemen in south

KABUL, Afghanistan — A roadside bombing has killed six Afghan policemen in the country’s south.

Chief of Khakrez district in Kandahar province Abdul Qayum Khan said four others were injured in Monday’s blast.

He said the policemen were on their way to Kandahar city when the bombing occurred.

The Taliban are increasing attacks as Afghan and international forces ramp up security in the insurgents’ stronghold.

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

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A U.S. service member was killed Monday by a bomb blast in southern Afghanistan, NATO said.

The U.S. troop died Monday but the military coalition did not give further details, a statement said.

The U.S. death toll has mounted in recent weeks as American troops try to extend their reach in the southern provinces of Kandahar and Helmand, while insurgents have mounted a summer counteroffensive aimed at both international troops and the Afghan government.

June was the deadliest month for U.S. and international forces with the deaths of 103 service members, including 60 Americans. Including Monday’s death, 56 NATO troops have been killed so far this month in Afghanistan, 41 of them American.

The capital city of Kabul has also seen attacks ahead of an international conference on Tuesday, at which the Afghan government hopes to show world leaders it is making progress toward running its own affairs.

Thousands of Afghan soldiers and police have been deployed to secure the capital during the one-day meeting. Officials worry Tuesday’s conference will draw a repeat of the violence seen at a national peace conference in May when two militants were killed in a gunbattle with security forces and a rocket landed with a thud about 100 yards (meters) from the meeting site.

Security breaches have already occurred. Just before noon Sunday, a suicide bombing near a market killed three civilians and wounded dozens. On Friday night, a combined international and Afghan commando unit captured a Taliban bomb-making expert in the capital.

The conference comes at a critical juncture in the war. NATO and Afghan forces are moving into areas controlled by the Taliban, and the insurgents are pushing back.

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