A suicide attack on a foreign military convoy in southern Afghanistan on Monday killed at least 11 children who were nearby, officials said, amid a spate of attacks across the war-torn country.
Sixteen others were wounded, including foreign and Afghan security forces, when a bomb-laden car exploded in the southern province of Kandahar, provincial police spokesman Qasim Afgha told AFP.
The children from the madrasa had gathered around the NATO convoy for fun when the bomber struck, said Abdul Rahim Ayubi, a lawmaker from Kandahar.
Matiullah Helal, the deputy spokesman for the provincial police chief, said 19 people were also wounded, including eight Romanian NATO soldiers, nine civilians and two policemen. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the Kandahar bombing and no comment from NATO.
In other violence, an Afghan police officer was killed and four people were wounded in an explosion Monday in eastern Nangarhar province, said Attuhullah Khogynai, spokesman for the provincial governor. He said the slain officer was the chief of the criminal investigations unit for Behsud district.
No one claimed responsibility for the attack, but both Taliban and Islamic State are active in eastern Afghanistan and especially in Nangarhar. The local Islamic State affiliate first emerged in Nangarhar a few years ago, then expanded its footprint to elsewhere across the country.
In other violence Monday, insurgents killed at least four Afghan policemen in an ambush in the northern Balkh province, said Sher Mohammad Abu-Tariq, the district chief in Nahri Shahi. And in another separate attack in the eastern Khost province, a 29-year-old reporter for the BBC's Afghan service was shot dead by unknown gunmen. The BBC confirmed the death of Ahmad Shah, saying he had worked for its Afghan service for more than a year. According to Associated Press, BBC World Service Director Jamie Angus called it a "devastating loss."
Islamic State and the more firmly established Taliban carry out regular attacks, with the Taliban usually targeting the Afghan government and security forces and Islamic State targeting members of the country's the Shiite minority, whom the affiliate perceives as apostates.
The relentless assaults underscore the struggles that Afghan security forces have faced to reign in the militant groups since the United States and NATO concluded their combat mission at the end of 2014. Both groups want to establish strict Islamic rule in Afghanistan.
Last week, an Islamic State suicide bomber attacked a voter registration centre in Kabul, killing 60 people and wounding at least 130 others. There were 22 women and eight children among the fatalities. And the month before, an Islamic State suicide bomber targeted a Shiite shrine in Kabul where people had gathered celebrating the Persian new year. That attack killed 31 people and wounded 65 others.
With input from Agencies
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Updated Date: May 01, 2018 08:00:09 IST