KABUL (Web Desk) The Afghan Taliban on Friday claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) patrol north of Kabul that the United States military said killed one service person.Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, told AP in a telephone interview that the suicide attacker from northern Takhar province hit the patrol near Qarabagh, barely 30 kilometres north of Kabul, about 8pm on Thursday.
Mujahid claimed 11 Americans were killed, but US Navy Captain Bill Salvin, a military spokesman, said one person died and six, including an Afghan translator, were wounded.The wounded were all in stable condition and being treated in the US military hospital at the Bagram airfield north of Kabul.The conflicting death tolls could not be immediately explained, but the Taliban routinely exaggerate their claims.
Thursday’s attack was the second suicide attack against Nato convoys in as many days. On Wednesday, a suicide attacker hit a convoy on the edge of the southern city of Kandahar, killing two US soldiers and wounding another four.Meanwhile in southern Helmand’s Gareshk district, Taliban gunmen took control of a market that was closed because of Friday prayers. They also fired at a nearby police station, Gareshk District police chief Ismail Khan Khopalwaq said.
On Thursday, a suicide bomber rammed his explosives-laden car into a police outpost in Gareshk, killing two police personnel and wounding another two.The district has been the scene of heavy fighting in recent weeks between Afghan National Security Forces, aided by US air support, and the Taliban, who control roughly 80 percent of Helmand province.
The Taliban have taken credit for the attacks, claiming heavy casualties among police.Gareshk district is also where the Pentagon confirmed that an errant US bomb last month destroyed a police outpost, killing 12 officers and wounding another 11. The incident is still under investigation and a joint US and Afghan delegation earlier visited the area.