Attempted suicide attack in southern Afghanistan

A militant detonated explosives hidden in his car outside a meeting of security leaders in a southern Afghan town Monday, seriously wounding himself but hurting no one else, officials said.

Windows of a building where the meeting was being held blew in, but the flying glass didn't hit anyone, Interior Ministry spokesman Yousuf Stanekzai said.

The assault occurred in Lashkargar town, Helmand province, which has seen a spate of attacks by Taliban rebels and other militants in recent weeks against Afghanistan's fledgling police force. The provincial police and army chief were in the meeting that was attacked, Stanekzai said.

The assailant, who was described as a foreigner, was being treated by doctors at the Interior Ministry, where he was under police guard. The car he was in was destroyed in the blast. It was not immediately known how he survived.

Violence across volatile southern and eastern Afghanistan this year has been the deadliest since the ouster of the Taliban in late 2001. Nearly 1,500 have been killed and many areas are now considered off-limits to aid workers.

Militants have used five suicide bombings in the past month. The deadliest was outside an army training center in Kabul, the capital, and killed nine people, the AP reports.


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