Afghanistan: Suicide bomber kills 6 police, wounds 14

UN security report says lawmakers' bodyguards shot at least 100 rounds indiscriminately into crowd in Baghlan province.

US afghanistan 248.88 (photo credit: AP)
US afghanistan 248.88
(photo credit: AP)
A suicide bomber struck outside a government building in southwestern Afghanistan on Monday, killing six policemen and wounding 14 other people, an official said. The attacker detonated the explosives strapped to his body outside the governor's house in the town of Zaranj, in Nimroz province, as people were coming to work, said the provincial deputy governor Maluang Rasooli. Gov. Ghulam Dastagir Azad said his son was one of those killed. "I was the target of the suicide attacker," said Azad, who had moved inside the building shortly before the blast. Six officers were killed and 14 other people, including nine policemen, were wounded, Azad said. The bomber was also killed in the blast. In neighboring Helmand province, Taliban attacked a police checkpoint on Sunday, killing two officers and wounding four others, said provincial police chief Muhammad Hussein Andiwal. Also on Sunday authorities recovered the bodies of five Afghan policemen who were tortured by the Taliban. The militants slashed the hands and legs of the five officers in southern Afghanistan and hung their mutilated bodies from trees in a warning to villagers against working with the government, said Juman Gul Himat, the provincial police chief. The officers had been abducted two months ago from their checkpoint in southern Uruzgan province, Himat said. The Taliban slashed their hands and legs and hung the bodies on trees Saturday in Gazak village of Derawud district, he said. "The Taliban told the people that whoever works with the government will suffer the same fate as these policemen," Himat said. "This village is under Taliban control. There are more than 100 Taliban in this village." Two tribal elders received the bodies of the policemen on Sunday, he said. More than 6,000 people have died in insurgency-related violence this year - a record number, according to an Associated Press count based on figures from Western and Afghan officials. Meanwhile, an internal United Nations security report obtained Monday said lawmakers' bodyguards shot at least 100 rounds of gunfire "deliberately and indiscriminately" into a crowd after a suicide bombing, and that children bore "the brunt of the onslaught at close range." The weekly report from the UN Department of Safety and Security, obtained by The Associated Press, said it was not clear how many people died in the suicide bombing and how many died from subsequent gunfire after the Nov. 6 attack in Baghlan province. The report said that as many as two-thirds of the 77 killed and 100 wounded were hit by gunfire; however, some estimates said the number of people shot was much lower. "Regardless of what the exact breakdown of numbers may be, the fact remains that a number of armed men deliberately and indiscriminately fired into a crowd of unarmed civilians that posed no threat to them, causing multiple deaths and injuries," the report said. "It is believed that at least 100 rounds or more were fired into the crowd with a separate group of school children off to one side of the road bearing the brunt of the onslaught at close range," the report said. The UN spokesman in Afghanistan, Adrian Edwards, confirmed the validity of the internal report, but he said it was one of several conflicting views inside the UN, and that the UN mission does not endorse the report's findings. "What you are seeing at the moment represents part of the picture only. What hasn't been resolved is that there is widely diverging, contrary views on this, and until those have been resolved there is no complete finding. "There does exist very opposing accounts of the incident," he said.