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Aug 26th, 2009

Car Bombs Kill Dozens in Afghanistan

Separately, 4 U.S. troops killed by roadside bomb

A policeman at the site where five car bombs detonated simultaneously in Afghanistan’s largest southern city, Kandahar, on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2009. (Photo credit: Allauddin Khilji / AP)

Aug. 25, 2009

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — A cluster of vehicle bombs detonated simultaneously near a foreign-owned company that plans to build a road through an insurgent-held area. At least 41 people were killed, all civilians, officials said.

In other violence, four U.S. servicemen were killed by a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan, making 2009 the deadliest year for the growing contingent of foreign troops since the overthrow of the Taliban in 2001.

The thundering explosion occurred just after nightfall in a district that includes U.N. facilities and an Afghan intelligence office. The force of the blast shattered windows around the city and sent flames shooting into the sky.

So many houses and nearby buildings had collapsed that officials feared the death toll could rise further. At least 66 people were wounded, said Gen. Ghulam Ali Wahabat, a police commander in charge of southern Afghanistan. …

Japanese company targeted?

It appeared the main target was the Japanese company that is involved in reconstruction efforts in the southern Afghan city. The company recently took over a contract to build a road that insurgents had stalled for several months. …

The blast in the center of the city was one of the largest since the Taliban were expelled from the country in 2001. It destroyed about 40 shops, including restaurants and bakeries. …

Provincial council member Haji Agha Lalai said five vehicles filled with explosives detonated together, causing the massive blast. But Shah said the vehicles used were an oil tanker filled with explosives and two car bombs. …

U.S. troops killed

In other violence, a bomb blast killed four U.S. troops in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday, said military spokeswoman Lt. Cmdr. Christine Sidenstricker. No other information was released pending the notification of family members.

The deaths bring to 41 the number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan this month, the second deadliest month in the country since the 2001 U.S. invasion. Last month a record 44 U.S. troops died.

This year has been the deadliest of the war for U.S. troops. Including the latest deaths, at least 172 American forces have died in the Afghan war this year, according to an Associated Press count.

A British soldier also died Tuesday after being wounded in an explosion Aug. 15 while on patrol near Sangin in Helmand Province, Britain’s Ministry of Defense said.

The number of overall NATO deaths this year is a record as well: at least 292. Last year 286 died, according to the AP count. …



Taliban Denies Responsibility for Deadly Blast

Image: Men look at site of Kandahar blast
Bystanders examine the destruction caused by a massive bomb blast in Kandahar, Afghanistan. (Photo credit: Ahmad Nadeem / Reuters)

Aug. 26, 2009

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — A Taliban spokesman denied any responsibility Wednesday for a major bombing that killed dozens of people in southern Afghanistan’s largest city, saying that the militant group condemns the attack. …

Rescue workers were still pulling out injured people on Wednesday. …

Kandahar is the spiritual home of the Taliban and the city was hit by rockets on the morning of election day as Taliban militants made good on threats to try to disrupt last Thursday’s polling with violence.

However, the group said it had no involvement in the most recent attack.

“We are denying responsibility, and condemn this attack in which innocent civilians were killed,” Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi wrote in a text message sent to an Associated Press reporter.

The Interior Ministry said the blast was from remote-controlled explosives planted in a truck. Local officials have said a cluster of vehicle bombs detonated nearly simultaneously near a Japanese construction firm that is involved in reconstruction efforts in the southern Afghan city. …


FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago Today — August 26, 2008

On the Campaign Trail: Day 43

Arriving at City Hall in downtown Paynesville at the end of the second Sixth District walking tour.

One year ago today, on the 43rd day of my campaign against U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann for the Republican nomination as House of Representatives candidate in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District, I completed my second walking tour, a 50-mile campaign swing across the Sixth Congressional District down Highway 23 from Foley in the east to Paynesville in the west. In line with my campaign focus on national security, I also reported multiple bombings in Iraq.

4 Responses to “Afghan Bombing One of Largest”
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