4 killed in Afghan blasts

KANDAHAR: Four civilians were killed and a provincial governor wounded in two separate bomb blasts in Afghanistan on Saturday, officials said.

The civilians, including a child and a woman, were killed when a roadside bomb, similar to those used by Taliban insurgents, struck their vehicle in the southern province of Kandahar, police said.

"Four civilians, one of them a five-year-old child were killed when a bomb hit their car in Khakriz district," police official Afzal Khan said.

"Their vehicle was destroyed in the blast." He could not say who had planted the device but similar incidents have been blamed on Taliban militants who are waging an insurgency against the US-backed government in Kabul.

A provincial governor and his driver were wounded in a similar attack in northeast Afghanistan which was blamed on the Taliban, an intelligence official said.

Kunduz governor Mohammad Omar was returning from neighbouring Takhar province when a remote-controlled bomb struck his vehicle, said local intelligence chief Abdul Majeed Azimi.

"Along the road a remote-control mine struck his vehicle, injuring him and his driver slightly," Azimi said, adding the two men were hospitalised with "slight injuries".

"Obviously, it was the work of the Taliban," he said.

Taliban militants have been waging an insurgency since being ousted from government in a US-led offensive in late 2001. Their campaign includes attacks on security forces and other government targets including officials.

In other violence, Afghan and foreign forces killed 11 militants in the south on Friday, the interior ministry said.

Six rebels were killed after they attacked a police post in southwestern Farah province, it said in a statement.

Five others were killed in an operation by Afghan and foreign forces in Helmand province, the ministry said in a separate statement.

There are more than 70,000 international -- mainly US, British and Canadian -- troops based in Afghanistan to help their Afghan counterparts fight the Taliban insurgency.