Large Bomb Explodes In Southern Afghan City


Salon Staff
February 5, 2012 1:00PM (UTC)

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) — Officials say a large explosion has hit the southern Afghan city of Kandahar, causing casualties.

The provincial government says in a statement that Sunday's blast hit near the city's major downtown intersection. The statement says there have been casualties, but does not provide any figures.

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An Associated Press reporter says the blast has broken windows in downtown office buildings.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An American soldier shot and killed an Afghan guard at a base in the country's north, apparently because the American thought the guard was about to attack him, Afghan police said Sunday.

There have been a growing number of attacks by Afghan soldiers against international forces in Afghanistan in recent years, some the result of arguments and others by insurgent infiltrators. Last month, an Afghan soldier shot and killed four unarmed French troops last month at a base in eastern Afghanistan.

Friday's shooting in Sari Pul province in northern Afghanistan resulted from an unfortunate misunderstanding, said Sayed Jahangir, the deputy police chief for the province.

Afghans guard the outside perimeter of the base and Americans guard inside. Jahangir said that the Afghan guard — a man named Abdul Rahim — wanted to go into the base and started arguing with the American at the door. Rahim did not raise his weapon, but the American thought he was about to do so and fired, Jahangir said.

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"Our initial reports show that the American thought he was acting in self defense," Jahangir said. Rahim was a private guard, not an Afghan soldier or policeman, Jahangir said.

U.S. forces were "aware of an incident in northern Afghanistan" and were investigating, said U.S. military spokesman Lt. Col. Jimmie Cummings. He declined to provide further details.

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