US official, Afghan killed in two suicide blasts


Taliban carried out two suicide car bombings in Afghanistan on Thursday, one killing a US advisor to the Afghan police and the other leaving an Afghan civilian dead, officials said.
US soldiers also shot dead an Afghan truck driver who failed to stop at a checkpoint after the first blast, in the city of Herat, fearing another suicide attack, the US embassy said in a statement.
The embassy said the death was regretted.
Both suicide attacks were claimed by Taliban militants.
The blast in Herat, where an attacker rammed a bomb-filled car into a SUV vehicle, killed a US State Department employee who was working on a police training programme, US embassy spokesman Chris Harris said.
Two other US nationals were injured, one of them seriously, Harris said.
A Romanian and two Afghans also suffered minor injuries, a Western official said.
Witnesses saw the burnt-out wreckage of an SUV that appeared to have been the target of the attack and the mangled remains of a smaller vehicle that may have been the car bomb.
There were chunks of human flesh near the smouldering vehicles including two legs scattered close by, an AFP correspondent said.
Shortly afterwards, US security staff shot dead an Afghan truck driver who failed to stop at a checkpoint.
“It appears his death was the result of gunfire from American investigators and military personnel who feared another suicide attack when the driver failed to stop his vehicle at a military checkpoint and drove directly at the Americans,” the embassy said in a statement.
“The incident is being investigated in co-operation with Afghan authorities. The United States embassy regrets the loss of life,” it said.
The second suicide attack struck hours later in the southern province of Ghazni.
The attacker blew up his car near a military post in the provincial capital of the same name, killing a civilian, Ghazni governor Sher Alam Ibrahimi said.
“A civilian was killed and another was wounded in this attack,” he said.
The bomber had tried to slam his explosive-filled car into an Afghan army convoy but the bombs exploded before he could reach the troops, Ibrahimi said.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2006