KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) – A suicide bomber killed at least two civilians and wounded four others in an attack near an American military base outside Kabul, police said, the latest violence linked to burning of Qurans at the base.
Kabir Ahmad, chief of Bagram district of Parwan province, said a suicide attacker on foot blew himself up close to a vehicle in a small NATO convoy near Bagram Air Field, where U.S. forces burned Qurans and Islamic texts on Feb. 20. The burnings, which the U.S. said were an unintentional mistake, triggered six days of violence that left nearly 40 people dead _ including six U.S. soldiers killed by Afghan security forces in apparent retaliation.
NATO said that according to initial reports, an explosion occurred outside of Bagram air base in eastern Afghanistan today. Capt. Justin Brockhoff, a spokesman, said there were no reports of NATO fatalities, and the base was not breached by the explosion.
“Coalition officials are gathering details at this time, and more information may be released as appropriate,” he said.
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed responsibility, saying it was revenge for the recent burning of Qurans at the base.
The Taliban have been seeking to exploit the burnings and are increasingly citing them to justify their attacks. Qurans were among books burned because they were said to contain messages from militants.
Also Monday, the Interior Ministry said one civilian was killed and 11 people wounded when a man blew himself up at a police checkpoint in Jalalabad in the east.