Bomb kills three police in Afghanistan
Three policemen were killed and six others wounded today when a bomb planted inside their minibus exploded in eastern Afghanistan, local officials said.
The blast claimed by the Taliban took place in Jalalabad, the de facto capital of eastern Afghanistan, which borders Pakistan and frequently witnesses heavy fighting.
Militants have launched a string of recent attacks against Afghan security forces, who are due to take increased responsibility from foreign troops as they withdraw in a transition due to conclude in 2014. "The explosive material was set in the bus and went off when the policemen were en route to work" Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, provincial spokesman told AFP.
"There were three police officers killed and six others wounded in the incident." He added that an investigation had been launched. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack, telling AFP: "Our man planted the bomb inside the car and it killed nine policemen and injured two others". The Taliban are known to exaggerate details of their attacks. A spokesman for the local provincial hospital, Dr Sayed Afandi Sayed, said it had received three bodies and was treating six wounded police. "All of the casualties we have received are police officers," he said.
"The condition of the injured is normal and is not critical." An AFP reporter at the scene said that pieces of flesh were scattered around the totally destroyed vehicle. He added that foreign troops plus Afghan army and police were at the scene and the area had been cordoned off.
There has been a spike in recent attacks carried out by Taliban members who have either infiltrated the Afghan army or police, or who have disguised themselves in uniforms for attacks. On Saturday, five foreign troops and four Afghan soldiers died in a suicide attack by a Taliban army infiltrator at the Afghan army's headquarters in the eastern province of Laghman bordering Nangarhar, which includes Jalalabad. And on Monday, three people died when an attacker got into the defence ministry in Kabul in one of the worst security breaches in years.
International forces are due to start limited withdrawals from eight safer areas of Afghanistan from July. This comes ahead of a planned full transition to Afghan security control across the country in 2014, aimed at allowing all foreign combat troops to leave.