SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

The World

November 6, 2011

Suicide bombers kill 7 in north Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Two suicide bombers targeted worshippers on a key Muslim festival in northern Afghanistan, killing seven, including two local police commanders, officials said Sunday.

The bombers struck as Muslims were leaving a mosque on the outskirts of Old Baghlan City after prayers at the start of the Eid al-Adha, the Feast of the Sacrifice.

At least 18 other people were taken to hospitals with injuries from the attack in Hassin Tal, about 6 miles (10 kilometers) east of the city.

One bomber blew himself up and the second was captured before he could set off his explosives, said Lal Mohammad Ahmadzai, spokesman for the regional police commander in the north.

The bombings raise questions about Afghan forces' ability to tackle the insurgency head-on without their NATO partners. NATO is working to handing over full security responsibilities to Afghan forces before the end of 2014, when the coalition plans to withdraw its combat troops.

NATO officials say attacks such as Sunday's bombing do little more than grab headlines and have little impact on the balance of strength between the government and the insurgents.

Kamen Khan, the police chief in Old Baghlan City, said one of the two dead local police commanders was a well-known local leader named Abdul who, like many Afghans, goes only by one name.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the Taliban, against whom NATO has waged a decade-long war, routinely target Afghan officials and security forces as well as international forces.

In his Eid message two days ago, Taliban leader Mullah Omar said his fighters must protect Afghan civilians, who are dying in rising numbers, so the insurgency can maintain good relations with the population.

U.S. Marine Gen. John Allen, the top commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, condemned the bombing and challenged Omar to do so, too.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
The World

AP Video
Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques Israeli Aircraft Hits Dozens of Gaza Targets Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Today in History for July 22nd Raw: Black Boxes of Downed Jetliner Turned Over UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Diplomacy Intensifies Amid Mounting Gaza Toll AP Exclusive: American Beaten in Israel Speaks Raw: Gaza Rescuers Search Rubble for Survivors Raw: International Team Inspects MH17 Bodies Raw: 25 Family Members Killed in Gaza Airstrike Raw: Gaza City Shelling Attack Today in History for July 21st Recording May Show Attempt at Crash Cover-up Deadliest Day Yet of Israel-Gaza Fighting
NDN Video
Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot Sebastian The Ibis Walks Beautiful Bride Down The Aisle | ACC Must See Moment NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Faces of Souls Lost in Malaysian Plane Crash 105-year-old woman throws first pitch Man Creates Spreadsheet of Wife's Reasons for Turning Down Sex 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success Rory McIlroy struggles, surges, wins British Open NOW TRENDING: Real life Pac-Man