An Afghan policeman stands guard Thursday after a bomb explosion in Kandahar province south of Kabul, Afghanistan. (Allauddin Khan / AP)
KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN — Roadside bombings across Afghanistan killed 4 people on Thursday as officials reported that a NATO soldier died in a helicopter crash in Kandahar the previous day.
The crash, in which 15 coalition service members were injured, happened after the helicopter accidentally struck a communications antenna on Wednesday, an Afghan official said.
In northern Jawzjan province, a roadside bomb hit the car of the intelligence chief of Aqcha district on Thursday morning, police officer Faqir Mohammad Jawzjani said.
The explosion killed the district chief, Manzurullha, and his bodyguard, and wounded three other officials who were travelling with them, Jawzjani said. Like most Afghans, Manzurullha used only one name.
Jawzjani blamed the Taliban for the attack, saying the bomb used in Aqcha district was very powerful and completely destroyed Manzurullha’s vehicle.
Also on Thursday, two roadside bombings minutes apart killed an Afghan policeman and wounded four others in the city of Kandahar, said police officer Shamsullha, who also uses one name.
The first explosion struck a police car as it drove down a street, killing one officer and wounding two. Then, as other policemen who were nearby rushed to the site of the blast, a second explosion went off, wounding two more policemen, said Shamsullha.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks Thursday. The Taliban have launched their annual spring offensive, promising to step up attacks against Afghan security forces in a bid to undermine the Western-backed government as foreign combat troops prepare to withdraw from the country by the end of the year.
NATO statement did not provide other details on the helicopter crash in Kandahar province. Coalition policy is for home countries to identify their military dead.
But an Afghan police officer, Atta Mohammad, said the crash occurred in Maruf district around midnight on Wednesday. Along with the NATO soldier killed, 15 coalition service members were also hurt, he added.
Mohammad said the helicopter accidentally struck the district’s communication antenna, which caused the crash.
Shah reported from Kabul.