Afghanistan | 10.11.2007
A suicide bomber blew himself up Saturday in a failed attack which Afghan officials say was targeted at German troops in northern Afghanistan. However, ISAF forces say the attack was not aimed at the Bundeswehr.
The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, which includes about 3,000 German troops, said that its soldiers were not targeted in the attack just outside the small northern town of Kunduz.
A spokesman for the extremist Taliban movement released a statement to news agenciessaying that the group was responsible for the blast and it was aimed at soldiers.
Kunduz provincial governor Mohammad Omar said that intelligence officers had been tipped off and were chasing the would-be attacker as he tried to position his bomb-filled vehicle close to a German military convoy.
"He was trying to get close to the NATO German convoy. When he realised he was being chased, he exploded himself. Two people were wounded, one of them an old man. The old man later died in the hospital," the governor said.
But an ISAF official said under cover of anonymity that it was not an attack on its forces and there were no ISAF personnel nearby.
The blast came after a series of attacks in the north of Afghanistan, which has seen relatively little of the Taliban-led insurgency plaguing the south and east.
Six ISAF soldiers and two Afghan troops were killed Friday in heavy fighting that erupted after a Taliban ambush in the rugged northeastern province of Nuristan, ISAF and Afghan military officials said.
A suicide blast Tuesday near the town of Pul-i-Khumri, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) southwest of Kunduz, killed nearly 80 people, most of them school pupils, in the deadliest such attack in Afghanistan.
A Norwegian soldier died in another bomb blast in northern Faryab on Thursday.
Several hundred German troops are stationed in Kunduz; three were killed in a suicide blast in May that also claimed the lives of six Afghan civilians.
Picture: A German convoy was the alleged target of the bomber.
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Despite public opposition, over 75 percent of Germany's lower house voted on Friday, Oct. 12, to extend the country's mission in Afghanistan by one year. (12.10.2007)
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Source: Deutsche Welle @ dw-world.de
Click to view image: '118008-01896884400.jpg'
In: Afghanistan, Middle East
Tags: Afghanistan, Kunduz, Nuristan, Faryab, Pul-i-Khumri, Mohammad Omar, Germany, Bundeswehr, German military convoy, Norway, NATO, ISAF, suicide bomber, Taliban
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