Attacks across Afghanistan kill at least 5 people

AP News
Posted: May 14, 2014 1:49 PM
Attacks across Afghanistan kill at least 5 people

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Attacks across Afghanistan, including a suicide attack on a border police outpost in the country's south, killed at least five people Wednesday, authorities said.

The attacks come the day before officials announce the final results of the first round of Afghanistan's presidential elections. A runoff is expected.

Wednesday's deadliest attack came when five militants wearing suicide vests raided a border police outpost in southern Afghanistan. Dawa Khan Minapal, spokesman for the Kandahar provincial government, said three police officers died in the attack, as well as all five attackers. The assault wounded five other officers, he said.

In Kabul, a magnetic bomb attached to the army vehicle exploded, killing a soldier and wounding a woman and a child, city police chief Gen. Mohammad Zahir Zahir said. The blast took place in the eastern part of the Afghan capital in the early morning hours.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for both attacks.

In eastern Ghazni province, a rocket fired into a residential neighborhood of the provincial capital killed one woman and wounded a child Wednesday, deputy provincial governor Mohammad Ali Ahmadi said. No one immediately claimed responsibility for that attack.

On Monday, the Taliban launched their annual spring offensive with a wave of attacks across the south and east of the country, killing 21 people.

Each spring brings an escalation in fighting in Afghanistan with the end of snowy winter weather, which hampers movement. The melting of the snows opens up mountain passes allowing militant forces to move in from neighboring Pakistan.

This year's offensive by the Taliban will be an important gauge of how well Afghan government forces face insurgent attacks once foreign combat forces leave at the end of the year.

Meanwhile Wednesday, the Independent Election Commission said it would announce final results of the first round of presidential voting on Thursday.

Preliminary results released April 26 point to a runoff between the top two vote getters, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai.

The runoff would take place in several weeks.