KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) – Five Afghan police and two NATO servicemen died Saturday in separate roadside bomb blasts in Afghanistan, which has seen an uptick in violence in recent weeks.
Provincial Police Chief Sher Mohammed Zazai said the policemen were riding in a vehicle that struck a bomb in the Khakrez district of Kandahar province. International forces are ramping up security to bolster the government and curb criminal and insurgent activity in the province, the spiritual birthplace of the Taliban.
On Wednesday, 56 people were killed and 24 others were wounded when a 13-year-old boy detonated his vest of explosives at a wedding celebration in a village near Kandahar, Zazai said.
NATO said an American serviceman died in a roadside bomb attack in northern Afghanistan, and another coalition soldier was killed in an explosion in the east. Poland’s Defense Ministry said the victim was a Polish soldier. The ministry said eight other Polish soldiers were wounded in the incident about eight miles (12 kilometers) from their base in Ghazni, the provincial capital of Ghazni province. So far this month, 38 coalition troops have been killed in Afghanistan, including 27 Americans.
On Friday, militants killed four Afghan construction workers as they were returning home from work. The Ministry of Interior said the workers were shot in Mata Khan district of Paktika province. Their bodies were recovered Friday by policemen who were patrolling the area.
Separately, more than three dozen school girls were treated after becoming ill from suspected poisoning at their high school in Ghazni province, also in eastern Afghanistan.
“More then 40 girls were poisoned inside their school. They are hospitalized, but none of them have life-threatening conditions,” said Mohammad Ismail Ibrahamzia, director of the hospital in Ghazni city. He said the girls were vomiting and could not stand on their feet when they arrived at the hospital, but they were in stable condition after treatment. There have been similar cases of illnesses at schools around Afghanistan. Some suspect militants are spraying schools with poison gas because they oppose education for girls.