Monday, November 19, 2012

Blast rocks Afghan western town, police detain 2 would-be suicide bombers

A would-be suicide bomber is presented to the media after being captured by Afghan security forces in Herat province, west of Afghanistan, on Nov. 19, 2012. Two would-be suicide bombers attired in women dress were identified and arrested while attempting to enter a conference hall attended by ranking officials. (Xinhua/sardar)
KABUL, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- A powerful blast rocked the relatively peaceful Herat province, 640 km west of Afghan capital Kabul, causing panic among the war-weary residents on Monday.

In the incident, the anti-government militants placed an explosive device in the cavities of a motorbike and detonated it by remote-control next to a police checkpoint, police said.

The incident took place in the border town of Islam Qala at around 09:50 a.m. local time. As a result, three non-combatants including a doctor and a driver were injured.

"It was a remote-controlled bomb planted on a motorbike and targeted a border police checkpoint in Islam Qala border town, injuring three innocent civilians," a senior police officer Nisar Ahmad Paikar told Xinhua.

Paikar also blamed the enemies of peace, a term used for Taliban militants for the attack. However, the outfit has yet to make comment.

In a related development, police in Herat province identified and arrested two would-be suicide bombers and thus foiled a terror attack.

"Two would-be suicide bombers were attired in women dress and attempting to enter a conference hall attended by ranking officials when they were identified and arrested," deputy to provincial police chief, Abdul Hamid Hamidi told Xinhua.

The arrested militants, he said, who had disguised themselves as women to deceive the guards of the gate and enter the conference hall, had been detained and under investigation.

Explosion in Herat and arresting would-be suicide bombers are taking place just days after the visit of Afghan peace delegation to Islamabad and securing the release of nine Taliban detainees from Pakistani prisons as goodwill gesture to bolster peace talks with Taliban.

The delegation headed by Salahudin Rabbani, chairman of the government-backed peace body, the High Council for Peace, ended his four-day visit to Pakistan last Wednesday, hoping the release of Taliban detainees from Pakistani jail would accelerate the Afghan national reconciliation process, an initiative cautiously welcomed by Taliban.

In series of operations across the country, several Taliban insurgents were captured Monday, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) confirmed.

"An Afghan and coalition security force arrested a Taliban suicide attack operative in Kandahar province today," the statement added.

The arrested insurgent is suspected of planning and executing suicide attacks throughout the province, some 450 km south of capital Kabul, the coalition said without disclosing the name of the arrested man.

According to the statement, the security forces during operations in the neighboring Helmand province 555 km south of Kabul, has also arrested a Taliban weapons facilitator who supplied weapons to militants, on Monday morning.

In addition, another Afghan-NATO-led forces unit arrested a Taliban leader in eastern Logar province 60 km south of Kabul also Monday morning.

The Afghan forces backed by some 100,000 NATO-led ISAF troops have intensified cleanup operations against the Taliban militants but the insurgents in retaliation responded by carrying out suicide bombings, roadside attacks and laying ambushes against the security forces.

Editor: Fang Yang
2012-11-19 19:29:17

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