Afghanistan: Blast at Bagram Airfield results in causalities

Associated Press

At least six people have been wounded when a suicide bomber targeted the Bagram Airfield in Parwan province on Wednesday, an Afghan official said.

Mohammad Asem, the provincial governor for Parwan, said the attacker was riding a motorcycle and detonated his explosives at the third security gate of the airfield. The wounded were taken inside the U.S. military base at the airfield for treatment.

Asem added that as yet there were no details on casualties among foreign forces.

Earlier Wednesday, a U.S. commander had apologized for dropping leaflets in Afghanistan that were deemed offensive to Islam.

The leaflets dropped Monday night, which encouraged Afghans to cooperate with security forces, included an image of a dog carrying the Taliban flag, said Shah Wali Shahid, the deputy governor of Parwan province, north of Kabul. The flag has Islamic verses inscribed on it, and dogs are seen as unclean in much of the Muslim world.

"Local people are very upset with this incident, and they want the perpetrators brought to justice," Shahid said, adding that demonstrations were expected across the province.

Maj. Gen. James Linder apologized, acknowledging in a statement that "the design of the leaflets mistakenly contained an image highly offensive to both Muslims and the religion of Islam." He offered his "sincerest apologies for this error."

Throughout the 16-year Afghan war, U.S. forces have struggled to convince ordinary Afghans to help them defeat the Taliban. Afghanistan is a deeply conservative country, and alleged blasphemy has sparked riots.

Elsewhere in Afghanistan, two civilians were killed by a roadside bomb in the eastern Laghman province on Wednesday, according to Sarhadi Zwak, the spokesman for the provincial governor. No one claimed responsibility for the attack, but Taliban insurgents are active in the province.

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