U.S.-Led Coalition Convoy Kills Afghan Boy

Wednesday, April 18th 2007, 7:25 am
By: News On 6

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) _ A U.S.-led coalition convoy hit a boy in Kabul and killed him, while Afghan and coalition forces arrested five suspected al-Qaida on Wednesday in eastern Afghanistan.

Acting on intelligence, the joint forces arrested the ``al-Qaida associates'' during a raid on a compound in the Chaparhar district of Nangarhar province, a coalition statement said, adding that no shots were fired and no serious injuries were reported.

On Tuesday in Kabul, a coalition convoy was passing through a bazaar when the boy stepped into the road from behind a large truck, a coalition statement said. The convoy stopped to provide first aid and the boy was evacuated for medical care, but died of his injuries, it said.

Also Tuesday, a powerful remote-controlled bomb destroyed a U.N. vehicle in southern Afghanistan's main city, killing four Nepalese guards and an Afghan driver, officials said.

The attack on a three-vehicle U.N. convoy in Kandahar was the bloodiest in Afghanistan for the world body since the hard-line Taliban militia's 2001 ouster, and illustrated how violence still impedes much-needed reconstruction.

The convoy was beside a canal when unidentified assailants detonated the charge. It hit a gray sport-utility vehicle, killing the four guards and their driver, police and the U.N. said.

An Associated Press reporter saw two charred bodies lying on the road nearby. The explosion blew off two of the car's doors and gouged a crater in the road.

While there was no immediate claim of responsibility, the attack came a day after a Human Rights Watch report accused Taliban militants of committing war crimes by targeting civilians.

The rights group said militants killed nearly 700 Afghan civilians in 2006 _ more than three times the civilian deaths attributed to U.S. and NATO forces, which have been criticized for using excessive force in civilian areas.

Violence in the south and east has created a vicious cycle for President Hamid Karzai and his international backers: Militants and criminals scare off aid agencies, fueling resentment against the government, especially among ethnic Pashtuns, from whom the Taliban draws its main support.