Sunday, May 1, 2011

12-year-old suicide bomber strikes in Afghanistan; kills 4 in "spring offensive"

A 12-year-old suicide bomber has killed four people a crowded market in eastern Afghanistan, in one of several attacks on the first day of a Taliban spring offensive.

In a separate attack in in southern Ghazni Province, a gunman opened fire at a police checkpoint, killing two police officers and two civilians. And a bicycle bomb near Ghazni City's police station wounded 13 civilians, BBC reports.

In Logar Province militants ambushed a convoy of NATO troops, starting a firefight in which three children were killed by Taliban fire, district governor Mohammad Rahim Amin told Agence France-Presse. The dead children were aged between eight and 14 years old, Amin said.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing on behalf of the group and all other Sunday attacks except that in Logar Province, AFP reports.

The attacks followed a Taliban declaration Saturday that its spring military operations would focus on attacks against military bases, air bases, convoys, heads of foreign and local companies, and members of the local government.