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Suicide bomber dies in Afghan attack on Canadians

Written by: Staff
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KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, March 3 (Reuters) A suicide bomber detonated a car bomb near a Canadian armoured vehicle in southern Afghanistan today, killing himself but causing no casualties to Canadian troops, the Afghan army said.

The blast occurred in Daman district, about 15 km south of the city of Kandahar and about 10 km from the airport, where Canadian troops are based.

''A car full of explosives blew up near a Canadian armoured vehicle. The bomber was killed, but there were no casualties amongst Canadian forces,'' General Rahmatullah Raufi, commander of the Afghan army's southern region, told Reuters.

He said the blast caused some damage to the armoured vehicle.

A spokesman for the US-led foreign force in Afghanistan said he was checking reports of the blast but had no details.

Canada has 2,300 troops based in Kandahar, an area troubled by Taliban insurgents. The troops have come under attack several times in recent months.

Today's blast came a day after a Canadian soldier was killed and seven injured, two of them critically, when their vehicle overturned on a road leading west from Kandahar. Police said it was an accident.

It also came two days after a surprise first visit by US President George W Bush to Afghanistan, a country still troubled by a stubborn Taliban insurgency more than four years after US-led forces overthrew the militants in 2001.

The insurgency has claimed more than 1,500 lives since the start of last year, the bloodiest period since the Taliban's overthrow. The US military has warned of stepped up militant activity in the coming spring.

REUTERS SHB BS1516

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