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Car bomber killed in Afghan attack; Canadians hurt

Written by: Staff
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JALALABAD, Afghanistan, Apr 19 (Reuters) A car bomb blew up today as its driver tried to ram a US military convoy in Afghanistan, while in a separate incident, two Canadian soldiers were wounded in a roadside blast.

The attacks came as the commander of US forces in Afghanistan met Afghan and Pakistani commanders for security talks including discussions of how to combat a wave of bombings.

Jalalabad police spokesman Abdul Ghafour said US troops had shot dead the suicide car-bomber as he tried to ram a convoy and seconds later his explosives detonated.

US military spokeswoman Lieutenant Tamara Lawrence said the driver was killed in a blast as he approached the US convoy.

''Indications we have now is that no shots were fired,'' Lawrence said.

Violence has surged in Afghanistan since the Taliban announced last month they had launched a spring offensive in their campaign to rid the country of foreign forces.

Dozens of people, including many insurgents, have been killed in a wave of suicide and roadside bombs, ambushes and clashes.

A roadside blast hit a Canadian forces vehicle in the southern province of Helmand, wounding two soldiers.

One was slightly wounded and the other was under observation for a wound that was not life-threatening, said Canadian forces spokeswoman Captain Julie Roberge.

ROCKET NEAR US EMBASSY The blast happened in an area in which a Canadian and an American soldier were killed during a Taliban attack on a base last month.

A rocket landed in central Kabul late on Wednesday near the US embassy and US and other military bases, slightly wounding an Afghan guard at a state television compound, police said. A US spokesman said in Washington all US employees were accounted for.

It was the second rocket to hit the capital in a week. No one was hurt when a rocket hit a Defence Ministry compound in the city centre on Wednesday last week.

While foreign troops and Afghan security forces grapple with a blitz of bombings, violence has also surged in Pakistan's tribal lands on the Afghan border, where militants linked to al Qaeda and tribesmen have been battling security forces.

Pakistani, US and Afghan military officials held a meeting of their so-called Tripartite Commission in Pakistan today and discussed the threat of bombs and ways to step up coordination along the border.

Relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan have been rocked by fresh Afghan complaints that insurgents are launching attacks into Afghanistan from the safety of Pakistani territory.

Pakistan has dismissed the Afghan complaints and raised questions about the growing influence of its old rival, India, in Afghanistan.

The United States has been trying to promote closer cooperation between its two important allies in its war on terrorism.

REUTERS SC PM0203

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