April 18, 2007 in Nation/World

Afghan U.N. convoy attacked

Shafiq Ahmad Saidi and Laura King Los Angeles Times
Associated Press photo

Afghan police officers check a destroyed United Nations vehicle that was hit by a roadside bomb in Kandahar, Afghanistan, on Tuesday. Four Nepalese guards and an Afghan driver were killed.
(Full-size photo)

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Intercepted arms said to be Iranian

» WASHINGTON – U.S.-led coalition forces in southern Afghanistan recently intercepted Iranian-made weapons that were being shipped to fighters for the Taliban, historically regional rivals of Tehran, the Pentagon’s top general said Tuesday.

» Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the munitions, which included mortars and C-4 explosives, were captured within the past month near Kandahar, which serves as the military and administrative capital for the restive south.

» Pace said it remained unclear who shipped the arms.

KABUL, Afghanistan – Insurgents on Tuesday blasted a U.N. convoy with a roadside bomb in the southern city of Kandahar, killing five support workers and stirring fears that violence will further erode aid efforts across Afghanistan.

It was the deadliest attack aimed at U.N. staff in the country since the fall of the Taliban in late 2001, world body officials said.

At the same time, militants for the third straight day targeted Afghan security forces, with dozens of Taliban fighters staging a series of coordinated strikes on police posts less than 50 miles from the Afghan capital. Details of the fighting were sketchy, but there were reports of perhaps as many as 10 insurgents being killed and several police officers wounded.

Killed in the Kandahar explosion were four Nepalese contract workers and an Afghan driver working with the United Nations’ Office of Project Services, a logistics and support agency.

The bomb, apparently detonated by remote control, went off as the four-vehicle convoy was making its way through the city, a former Taliban stronghold that is considered dangerous despite the presence of thousands of coalition troops at an airbase just outside Kandahar.

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