Suicide bomber hits Canadian armored vehicle in Afghanistan

A suicide bomber in a car hit a Canadian armored vehicle outside the southern Afghan city of Kandahar on Friday, killing himself and reportedly wounding one Canadian soldier, Afghan military said. The attacker had the name of an outlawed Pakistani Islamic militant group, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, written on his vest, and from documents retrieved from his body, appeared to be an Afghan, said Gen. Rehmatullah Raufi, the Afghan army commander for southern Afghanistan.

An Associated Press reporter at the scene saw the wrecked car used for the attack. The Canadian vehicle had punctured tires and some damage to its bodywork. Jumat Gul, an Afghan army soldier at the scene, said the attacker was in a Toyota Corolla when he hit the Canadian armored vehicle and blew himself up, wounding one Canadian soldier. But Raufi said no Canadians were hurt in the attack.

Canadian military officials were not immediately available for comment. Qari Mohammed Yousaf, who claims to speak for the Taliban militia, claimed its responsibility for the attack in a telephone call to The Associated Press, saying the bomber was an Afghan from Kandahar province, a former Taliban stronghold. He claimed three Canadian soldiers had died.

Several purported spokesmen contact media claiming attacks for the Taliban, but their exact ties to its leadership are unclear and the information is sometime unreliable. The attack is the latest in a wave of suicide attacks in Afghanistan that its government claims are planned from terrorist training camps inside neighboring Pakistan .

The allegation has caused tensions between the two countries, with Pakistan saying it does all it can to crack down on militants. Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, an al-Qaida-linked Sunni Muslim group, has been outlawed by Pakistan . Friday's bombing comes days after Canada formally took over the command of the main foreign military base in southern Afghanistan in Kandahar from U.S. forces.

The Canadian deployment of 2,200 troops to the volatile region is part of an expansion of the NATO-led security force in Afghanistan , which will pave the way for the U.S. to draw down some troops. Supporters of the former ruling Taliban regime that was ousted by U.S.-led forces in late 2001 for hosting al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden have stepped up attacks in the past year, and security remains poor in much of the south and east, reports the AP.


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