Rush hour bomb kills three in Afghan city

A BOMB attack at rush hour today killed at least three civilians and wounded eight other people in Afghanistan’s western city of Herat, an official said.

An improvised explosive device (IED), the weapon of choice for Taliban militants fighting against the government and foreign troops, detonated close to a police checkpost, provincial spokesman Naqeebullah Arween said.

“Three civilians were killed and another eight civilians, including one policeman, were wounded in the blast today,” Arween said.

Herat is one of the most prosperous cities in Afghanistan and the west is relatively peaceful compared to the south, where the Taliban are in control of several districts and where there has been heavy fighting.

But violence has increasingly spread from the south to more peaceful areas in the west and north this year.

The United States and NATO have more than 150,000 troops in Afghanistan, including 30,000 Americans who recently deployed as part of a counter-insurgency surge aimed at speeding an end to the nine-year war.

Taliban and other insurgents – who rely largely on suicide bombers and remote-controlled IEDs – have killed a record of almost 600 foreign soldiers this year, compared to 521 in 2009.

The United Nations said that more than 1,000 civilians died as a result of the violence in the first half of this year, mostly at the hands of insurgents.

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