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Afghan blasts wound U.S. troops, Afghan policemen | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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KABUL (Reuters)-A bomb exploded on a main road in Kabul on Monday, critically wounding three Afghan policemen at an improvised checkpoint a day after a U.S. soldier was killed and seven wounded in attacks in the provinces.

The U.S. military said six of its troops were in stable condition after their convoy was hit by a roadside bomb on Sunday in the eastern province of Kunar, where 19 U.S. troops were killed in clashes with insurgents last month.

News of the latest attack in Kunar came after the military announced earlier that one U.S. soldier was killed and another wounded in an insurgent attack in the southern province of Helmand early on Sunday.

The attacks came amid stepped up militant violence in Afghanistan ahead of Sept. 18 parliamentary elections in which hundreds of people have died.

The bomb that exploded in Kabul destroyed a shipping container being used as a security post on a road leading to Kabul airport, said Mahboub Amiri, chief of Kabul”s rapid reaction police force.

He said the police officers were critically wounded by the blast, which was caused by a remote controlled device. It also damaged a U.N. vehicle, but no U.N. staff were wounded.

Amiri said the attack may have been the work of Taliban militants but no arrests had been made.

Taliban officials could not be reached for comment.

Kabul has been the scene of several bomb attacks since U.S.-led forces overthrew the Taliban government in late 2001 seeking to flush out Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda network.

But the capital has largely been spared a surge in violence seen in the south and east of the country ahead of the elections, the next big step in Afghanistan”s difficult path to stability.

A U.S. military statement said the U.S. convoy attacked in Kunar reported receiving small-arms fire immediately after the blast and U.S. aircraft targeted the site of the attack in Asadabad district.

The statement said it was not known if any insurgents were killed or wounded as a result of the air strike.

U.S. aircraft also bombed a compound in Helmand where the attackers who killed the U.S. soldier on Sunday were thought to be hiding.The U.S. military said it had no reports of any casualties from that strike.

The death of the U.S. soldier on Sunday brought to 36 the number of American soldiers killed in Afghanistan this year, making it the bloodiest period so far for U.S. forces.