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Explosions in Afghanistan Kill at Least 5

September 02, 2002|From Times Wire Services

KABUL, Afghanistan — Explosive devices killed at least five people and injured at least 20 others Sunday in three incidents in and around Kabul, the Afghan capital.

Three Afghans were killed and at least 17 hurt near Bagram air base, north of here, when an antitank mine destroyed an ambulance. The vehicle had been sent to collect the body of another Afghan, who had just been killed when an antipersonnel mine detonated.

The four people killed near Bagram had been working for the Afghan Mine Clearance Planning Agency. Noor ul-Haq, the agency's deputy director, said he suspected that someone planted the mine recently because it went off on a road that was frequently used by his and other agencies.

There are still millions of undetected mines in Afghanistan, the legacy of 10 years of Soviet occupation, later bloody internecine fighting and six years of war between the Taliban and the opposition Northern Alliance.

The strategic air base, which serves as the main U.S. military headquarters in Afghanistan, is heavily mined.

An explosion in Kabul killed one person and injured three others, including a British peacekeeper on patrol, officials said.

The device was in or under a four-wheel wooden pushcart when it went off in front of the ruined former Soviet Embassy in the southwestern part of the city, District Police Chief Gul Rahman said.

The afternoon blast instantly killed one Afghan man. Two Afghan civilians on bikes were hurt.

One British peacekeeper who was passing in a patrol car at the time of the explosion was hit in the wrist with shrapnel, said Maj. Steve Odell, a spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force. His injury was described as minor.

Several foreign bomb disposal experts examined a crater in the road left by the blast, but had not determined the explosion's cause.

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