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Suicide bomber strikes at Afghan-Pakistan border

Suicide bomber strikes at Afghan-Pakistan border

A suicide bomber dressed as a woman killed a police officer and wounded four others in an attack on a key Afghan-Pakistan border crossing Tuesday, a day after U.S. coalition airstrikes killed more than a dozen militants elsewhere in eastern Afghanistan, officials said.
The blast at the busy Torkham crossing in Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar province also wounded a number of civilians, said Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, the spokesman for the province's governor.
The bomber, a man disguised in women's clothes, blew himself up in a room where women are searched before they are allowed to cross the border, Abdulzai said.
The Torkham is one of the main international border crossings between Pakistan and Afghanistan, leading to Pakistan's Khyer Pass.
The Taliban militants regularly launch suicide bombings targeting Afghan and foreign security forces, but civilians are often among the victims.
Separately, the U.S.-led coalition launched airstrikes Monday that killed more than a dozen insurgents and destroyed two militant command bunkers in Khost province, the coalition said in a statement.
It is impossible to confirm the casualty numbers because access to the remote, dangerous area is restricted.
The strikes targeted insurgents linked to militant leader Siraj Haqqani, whose network is the most powerful in eastern Afghanistan, the Tuesday statement said. U.S. and Afghan officials believe Siraj commands his operations from Pakistan's tribal areas.
Those targeted were involved in the movement of foreign fighters in Afghanistan, it said. The porous border with Pakistan is their a major transit route into the country.
The Obama administration has declared eliminating militant havens in Pakistan vital to its goals of defeating al-Qaida and winning the war in Afghanistan.
In southern Afghanistan, Afghan and foreign troops clashed and called in airstrikes on militants in Zabul province's Daychopan district Monday, killing and wounding 15 militants, said provincial police chief Abdul Rehman Sarjang.
Militants also ambushed a convoy ferrying supplies for foreign troops in Uruzgan province Monday, sparking a firefight that killed eight militants and left two policemen wounded, said provincial police chief Juma Gul Himat.
Two of the trucks were destroyed and police recovered the bodies of the dead militants, Himat said.
An increase in violence in southern Afghanistan coincides with the arrival of thousands of new U.S. troops, part of a military surge aimed at reversing the Taliban's gains of the last three years.
The Taliban ruled Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001 and were ousted from power following a U.S.-led invasion.
In recent years, the group has made a violent comeback, wreaking havoc in much of the country's south and east forcing the United States to pour in thousands more troops.
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Associated Press reporters Fisnik Abrashi in Kabul and Noor Khan in Kandahar contributed to this report.


Updated : 2021-04-23 14:05 GMT+08:00