In brief: Seven Americans among NATO casualties of blast
Kabul, Afghanistan – Nine NATO service members were killed Thursday in Afghanistan, including seven U.S. troops among eight who died when a powerful bomb exploded in a field where they were patrolling on foot, officials said.
Two Afghan policemen also died and two others were wounded in the explosion in the mountainous Shorabak district of Kandahar province, 12 miles from the Pakistan border, said Gen. Abdul Raziq, chief of the Afghan border police in the province.
“Two months ago, we cleared this area of terrorists, but still they are active there,” Raziq said.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the blast.
A U.S. official confirmed that seven American service members died in the bombing.
Senior official slain; Baath Party suspected
Baghdad – A senior Iraqi official whose job was to bar members of Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party from the current government was shot dead on a busy street late Thursday, the latest in a wave of assassinations that have sowed panic in the country.
Ali al-Lami, the executive director of the committee that acts as Iraq’s anti-Baath Party watchdog, was driving close to Sadr City in eastern Baghdad when a sedan blocked his car and a gunman using a silencer shot him.
Al-Lami’s allies suspected the Baath Party was responsible for his death, and they vowed to bring pressure on the government over its failure to stop the targeted killings that have become part of the fabric of Baghdad’s daily life since the run-up to national elections in March 2010.
Synchronized explosions hit government offices
Beijing – Synchronized explosions that Chinese authorities initially tried to cover up killed at least two people and injured six in the southeastern Chinese city of Fuzhou. The unusual attack was apparently set off by a disgruntled farmer outside local government offices.
The three blasts took place minutes apart – the first at 9:18 a.m., when a car bomb exploded in a parking lot at the prosecutor’s office, the second at 9:29 a.m. at the local government office for the Linchuan district of Fuzhou, and at 9:45 a.m. another car bomb, outside the Drug Inspection Bureau office.