Insurgent attacks kill 6 Nato staff

2013-04-07 08:24
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Kandahar - Six Nato personnel including a female US diplomat were killed on Saturday in two separate attacks in Afghanistan, officials said, in the deadliest day for foreign forces this year.

In the southern province of Zabul, a Taliban car bomb struck a Nato convoy killing three troops and two civilian workers, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said.

According to a US security source the three soldiers were American and one of the civilian workers was from the US.

An ISAF spokesperson in Kabul confirmed the explosion was a car bomb targeting a military patrol, adding that there were also Afghan civilian casualties.

In addition, an American citizen died in "an insurgent attack" in eastern Afghanistan, a statement from US-forces Afghanistan said without giving any details.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said that one of the dead in the Zabul attack was a female diplomat whom he had met during a visit to Kabul last week.

'Despicable attack'

Kerry said that the American officials and their Afghan colleagues had been travelling to donate books to students at a school in Qalat, the capital of Zabul province, when they were killed in the "despicable attack".

Paying tribute to the unnamed diplomat, he described her as "smart, capable, eager to serve and deeply committed to our country and the difference she was making for the Afghan people".

The Zabul attack left four State Department staffers injured, one critically, according to Kerry.

Ashraf Naseri, the provincial governor of Zabul, told AFP he was on his way to attend an official function in Qalat when he heard the blast.

"One doctor and one civilian were killed and two of my body guards have been injured," he said.

The strikes came as the top US military officer General Martin Dempsey arrived in the country on an unannounced visit and raise troubling questions about the Taliban's strength ahead of the coalition's withdrawal in 2014.

American and Romanian troops are based in the province, according to the ISAF website, but the force did not disclose the victims' nationalities in line with its policy.

Read more on:    nato  |  afghanistan  |  security

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