Afghan official says roadside bomb kills 5 police in east
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan’s Islamic State affiliate detonated a roadside bomb in eastern Nangarhar province killing five border police and wounding four others, a statement issued Friday by the insurgent group said.
The vehicle carrying the officers struck the mine in Achin District on Thursday, police officer Qais Saifi told The Associated Press.
Even before the IS issued its statement claiming responsibility, Safi had suspected the group, saying it regularly plants roadside bombs to target Afghan officials and security forces.
IS has a strong presence in Nangarhar, where Afghan and U.S. support troops have targeted their outposts.
Known as the IS in Khorasan province, an ancient name for large swaths of Afghanistan, Iran and Central Asia, the insurgent group has carried out a number of blistering attacks in recent months in Afghanistan.
It was an Islamic state bomber who walked into the middle of a group of high school students earlier this month while they took their university entrance exam in the capital Kabul, killing 34. The dead were all under 20 years old and mostly Shiite Muslims.
The IS affiliate has warned Afghanistan’s minority Shiites that they are targets. The radical IS views Shiites as apostates.
According to the IS statement, an explosive device was detonated and a police Humvee was destroyed. It said another explosive device was detonated among those troops who came to the scene killing five of them, including a squadron leader, and wounding five others.
Afghan officials reported only one explosion.
The statement also said IS soldiers killed a pro-government militia leader in Achin.
Elsewhere in Afghanistan, a van hit a roadside mine in northeaster Kunar province, killing three people and wounding 16 others Wednesday, said Abdul Ghani Musamim, spokesman for the provincial governor.
After four decades of relentless war Afghanistan is one of the world’s heaviest mined countries.
Associated Press writer Maamoun Youssef in Cairo contributed to this report.