Bombs kill 2 NATO service members, 6 civilians in Afghanistan

A bomb attached to a bicycle kills 2 coalition service members in eastern Afghanistan

Insurgent attacks killed two international soldiers and six Afghan civilians on Monday, and officials raised the death toll from a suicide bombing at a volleyball match to 57.

The U.S.-led military coalition said two service members were killed in an insurgent attack in eastern Afghanistan but did not immediately disclose details. According to Kabul police, a bomb placed on a bicycle exploded near a convoy of coalition military vehicles, resulting in casualties.

The blast occurred along the highway from Kabul to the eastern city of Jalalabad and injured one civilian, police spokesman Hashmat Stanekzai said. Witnesses said the explosion took place near Green Village, a heavily guarded compound housing security contractors and other foreign personnel.

Separately, six Afghans were killed in northern Kunduz province when a bomb planted on a motorbike exploded in a marketplace, according to a provincial police spokesman, Sayed Sarwar Hossaini. Five civilians were injured, he said.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for either bombing. Kunduz has been the site of a sustained offensive in recent months by Taliban insurgents, who control large parts of the province and have engaged in fierce battles with Afghan security forces.

Meanwhile, dozens of victims of a Sunday evening suicide bombing in the eastern province of Paktika were flown overnight via helicopter to a military hospital in Kabul to be treated.

In addition to those killed, 60 people were injured in the blast in Paktika, on the border with Pakistan, in one of the deadliest bombings of the year in Afghanistan. Four members of the Afghan Local Police, a U.S.-backed rural self-defense force, were among those who died.

Afghanistan’s intelligence service, the National Directorate of Security, or NDS, has blamed the Haqqani network, a Pakistan-based insurgent group that is believed to have been responsible for major attacks on U.S. and Afghan targets in the past.

The U.S. Embassy in Kabul condemned the attack in a statement Monday, saying: “The targeting of innocent bystanders, including many children, at a volleyball tournament is barbaric and deplorable.”

Special correspondent Ahmadi reported from Kabul and Times staff writer Bengali from Madikeri, India.

Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times

UPDATES

7:41 a.m.: This post has been updated with a new attack on civilians, the death toll from the attack on the volleyball game rising and other details.

3:49 a.m.: This post has been updated throughout with additional details and background.

2:08 a.m.: This post has been updated with additional reporting from the scene of the attack.

This post was originally published at 12:49 a.m. 

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