Six injured in Afghanistan as troop toll hits record
Six people, including two Canadian soldiers, were wounded in a suicide attack in southern Afghanistan while a military helicopter of the US-led coalition forces was downed in the central provinces on Wednesday, officials said.
In the southern province of Kandahar, a suicide attack targeting a military convoy of Canadian troops wounded six people, according to local officials.
Abdul Razzaq, a senior police official in the border town of Spin Boldak where the attack took place, said two Canadian soldiers, two civilians and as many security contractors guarding a roadbuilding company were wounded, reported dpa.
He told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa that the bomber rammed his explosive-packed vehicle into the Canadian forces' convoy on the Kandahar-Spin Boldak road at 11:20 am (0730 GMT).
NATO-led Canadian troops did not comment on whether they suffered casualties.
The Taliban, through its spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, claimed responsibility for the attack, which it said claimed the lives of 10 Canadians. He added that three Canadian military vehicles were destroyed.
Some 2,500 Canadian soldiers are based in the restive Kandahar province.
In the central province of Logar, a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter of the US-led coalition forces was downed by Taliban fighters.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the chopper was downed by a missile in the Mango area of Kharwar district and all on board were killed.
However, a brief statement from the coalition forces said the helicopter was hit by small-arms fire but was able to land without injury to the crew members and the soldiers on board.
"Coalition forces cleared the area using a helicopter show-of- force and firing warning rounds before using precision-guided munitions to destroy the helicopter," the statement said.
On June 25, a coalition helicopter was shot down in the eastern Kunar province, injuring two soldiers. In early June, two coalition soldiers were killed when a chopper on a routine maintenance mission crashed near Kandahar city.
Elsewhere, four policemen were wounded when a bomb exploded under a bridge in the Chaparhar district of eastern Nangarar province Wednesday morning, local police said.
Three Taliban fighters died when the bomb they were planting on the Ghazni-Sharan highway in Andar district road blew up, the Ghazni governor's spokesman, Ismail Jahangir, said.
Meanwhile, 45 US and NATO troops were killed in Afghanistan in June, the highest monthly figure since the fall of the Taliban in late 2001.