UPDATE: Militants Attack Kabul, 7 Dead; Bomb Cache Found (AFGHANISTAN)
The bombs discovered in Kabul were found in a junkyard for old military vehicles in the northern part of the city, said Interior Ministry spokesman Yousuf Stanekzai. The explosives were made from old anti-personnel mines, and rebels were "suspected to be planning to use them against ISAF," he said, referring to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, which guards the capital.
Militants attacked security forces on two sides of Kabul, killing seven people in some of the deadliest assaults near the Afghan capital in months, police said Tuesday.
Security forces also uncovered a cache of bombs inside the city of 4 million. Militants were believed to be plotting to use the weapons against international peacekeepers, police said.
It was not immediately clear if the two attacks were coordinated, but they underlined the security threat facing the tightly guarded capital, home to thousands of foreign aid workers, diplomats and others.
In the first attack, rebels fired rockets late Monday at a U.S.-led coalition convoy 15 kilometers south of Kabul but missed and instead hit three civilian cars, killing six Afghans, said Khan Mohammed, the police chief in Logar province.
Three civilians were also wounded. A child was among the dead, he said.
The civilian cars were traveling close behind five military Humvee vehicles on a main north-south road when they were hit by two rockets and small-arms fire, Mohammed said.
The police chief said extra security forces were rushed to the area and have surrounded a run-down fort where the assailants were suspected to be hiding.
A coalition spokeswoman, Sgt. Marina Evans, said she had no details on the attack.
The second assault happened hours later, just before dawn Tuesday, when militants opened fire with assault rifles on a police vehicle 50 kilometers east of Kabul, near a key trade route linking the capital with the eastern Pakistani border, said Ghafor Khan, a police spokesman in the eastern town of Jalalabad.
The attack killed a senior police officer who was a teacher at a police academy. Two others were wounded, he said.
Khan said investigators suspect the victims were targeted because they "are teaching new police recruits and are crucial to bringing peace to our country."
The fledgling police force has been hit hard in recent months by a string of ambushes that have left dozens of officers dead.
The bombs discovered in Kabul were found in a junkyard for old military vehicles in the northern part of the city, said Interior Ministry spokesman Yousuf Stanekzai.
The explosives were made from old anti-personnel mines, and rebels were "suspected to be planning to use them against ISAF," he said, referring to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, which guards the capital.
Militants also fired rockets at the northern city of Fayzabad during the past two nights, wounding a local U.N. staff member and damaging a compound belonging to the government's intelligence agency, police chief Fazil Ahmad Nazari said.
Taliban-led rebels have stepped up violence in the past half year and killed more than 1,400 people. The bloodshed has left many southern and eastern regions off-limits to aid workers and raised fears for the country's fragile democracy.
Von: 25 October 2005 (AP), Dow Jones & Company, Inc.