KABUL, Afghanistan— A suicide bomber perched on the back of a motorcycle killed five Afghan policemen and one civilian in the increasingly violent northern province of Kunduz on Saturday.
Five other people were injured in the midday attack in the provincial capital, also called Kunduz, provincial police chief Abdul-Razaq Yaqoubi said.The city is a major transportation hub and lies along a crucial supply line for coalition forces fighting the Taliban insurgency.
Rebels have repeatedly targeted that route and stepped up attacks on police and civilians in Kunduz in an apparent attempt to destabilize local authorities and spread their insurgency beyond its strongholds in the country's south.
The bombing came on the first anniversary of a NATO warplane attack on two fuel trucks just outside Kunduz city that killed as many as 142 people, the single largest loss of civilian lives since the 2001 US invasion of the country. Afghan officials repeatedly warn that such incidents undermine the central government in Kabul and fuel support for its Taliban opponents.
Also Saturday, NATO announced the capture of a Taliban commander and the killing of six insurgents in a raid on a rebel hide-out in the northern province of Takhar.
The attack followed a string of recent raids on militant leaders that aim to demoralize the insurgency and sever contacts between rebel groups.