Suicide car bomber attacks British convoy in Afghanistan

A suicide car bomber rammed a British military convoy in southern Afghanistan on Friday, but it was unclear if there were any troop casualties, the provincial police chief said.

A man driving a station wagon rigged to explode struck the convoy at about 10:30 a.m. in the Helmand provincial capital of Lashkar Gar, said provincial police chief Gen. Abdul Rahman Saber.

British troops immediately cordoned off the scene and it was unclear if there were any military casualties, Saber said.

British military officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

The attack happened near the so-called provincial reconstruction team base run by British personnel in Lashkar Gah.

Taliban militants have increased suicide attacks against coalition forces, particularly in southern Afghanistan. The change in tactics is of concern to the British military as more than 3,000 British troops start taking control of the area as part of a NATO mission.

Helmand is also Afghanistan's main opium poppy-growing region and fears of widespread violence have risen since an aggressive poppy eradication campaign started in recent weeks.

Rugged mountains in the province are popular hiding places for Taliban rebels, many of whom are believed to slip back and forth across the province's largely unguarded border with Pakistan, reports the AP.


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