Afghan Bomb at Meeting Kills 2 G.I.’s and a Child
KABUL, Afghanistan — A suicide attacker in a police uniform blew himself up inside a police station in the northern Afghan province of Baghlan on Monday, killing two American soldiers and an 8-year-old boy, Afghan officials said.
The blast wounded several other people, including one American soldier, officials said.
Baghlan is a relatively peaceful province, and there is said to be no active insurgency there. But it was the scene of one of the bloodiest suicide attacks last year, in which as many as 72 people were reported killed, including 5 lawmakers and more than 50 schoolchildren.
The Taliban quickly claimed responsibility for the attack on Monday. A spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahed, identified the suicide bomber as a man named Abdul Ahad and said the attack had caused many more casualties than those reported by Afghan and American officials.
An American military spokesman, Maj. John Redfield, said that two coalition soldiers had been killed and three wounded. He did not give the nationality of the other two wounded coalition soldiers, nor did he say what they were doing at the police station.
United States personnel are involved in police training and mentoring and work closely with Afghan security officials in many provinces in Afghanistan.
The attack happened as American police trainers were in the building talking with Afghan police officials, and their guards were in the yard where the bomber detonated the explosives on his body, Afghan officials said.
“Two American soldiers and a child were killed, and one American and five Afghan soldiers were wounded,” said Abdul Rahman Sayedkhili, the police chief of Baghlan.
He said the attacker had managed to infiltrate the compound by wearing a police uniform during a large meeting of district chiefs, who arrived with many bodyguards.
In Wardak Province, southwest of Kabul, an American helicopter came under fire from Taliban insurgents and was forced to make “a hard landing,” said Col. Gregory Julian, a spokesman for American forces in Afghanistan.
No one was injured, he said. He indicated that the helicopter could have been forced down by small-arms fire or a rocket-propelled grenade.
Mr. Mujahed, the Taliban spokesman, said Taliban insurgents had opened fire on the helicopter and brought it down while the pilot was trying to land at a compound where coalition forces were looking for militants.