(AFP) – Aug 3, 2008
KABUL (AFP) — A US-led coalition soldier was killed in a bomb attack in Kabul on Sunday and a judge was gunned down in southern Afghanistan, authorities said, in new attacks linked to an extremist insurgency.
Another soldier was wounded in the bomb blast on the southeastern outskirts of the capital, the coalition said in a statement.
"A coalition service member was killed and another wounded when their convoy struck an IED (improvised explosive device) this morning in Kabul," it said.
It did not release the nationalities of the soldiers. Most troops in the coalition are from the United States, which has about 32,000 soldiers in Afghanistan to help fight extremist militants, mainly Taliban.
The international forces in the war-wracked country have lost 150 soldiers in Afghanistan this year, most of them killed in attacks. Six were killed Friday in bombings in the east, where most foreign troops are Americans.
Afghan police said the bomb was planted on a dirt road and appeared to have been remotely detonated. There were no civilian casualties.
Improvised bombs are the weapons of choice for Taliban-led insurgents who are waging an insurgency to topple the US-backed government of President Hamid Karzai and oust tens of thousands of international forces based here.
Kabul has suffered many Taliban attacks but a majority of insurgent violence is in the country's south and east, where the rebels are most active.
In the southern province of Helmand, gunmen on a motorbike shot and killed a mid-level judge early Sunday, a government official said, blaming the attack on the Taliban.
Engineer Latif Khan had been a judge in the Gereshk district court, provincial government spokesman Daud Ahmadi told AFP.
Two months ago a Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahed, told an AFP reporter that judges were targets of the group's insurgency. Teachers, doctors and other government employees have also been attacked and killed.
The Taliban were removed from government in late 2001 in an invasion led by the United States after the 9/11 attacks blamed on Al-Qaeda, which had sanctuaries in Afghanistan.
This year has seen some of the deadliest attacks of the insurgency, with a July 7 suicide attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul killing more than 60 people.
President Hamid Karzai and India accused Pakistan's spy agency of involvement, which Islamabad has denied. Kabul also announced it would boycott a series of meetings with Islamabad in protest.
But in talks in Sri Lanka Sunday, Karzai and Pakistan Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani agreed to "re-engage" in the fight against Islamic extremism, a joint statement said.
"The two sides agreed to coordinate their efforts to stop cross-border terrorism," the statement said. "At the suggestion of Pakistan, the Afghan side agreed to re-engage on all bilateral and multilateral forums."
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