Image: An Afghan police officer points
Rahmat Gul  /  AP
An Afghan police officer points to the site of fire after a convoy of NATO fuel tankers was attacked by militants in Behsod district of Nangarhar province, east of Kabul, Afghanistan on Sunday.
updated 11/14/2010 10:38:50 AM ET 2010-11-14T15:38:50

A series of bomb blasts and insurgents attacks killed 11 people across Afghanistan on Sunday, including five NATO service members and three Afghan police, officials said.

The strikes, which come a day after Taliban fighters stormed a NATO base in eastern Afghanistan, show the insurgents' fighting spirit has not been broken despite a surge of U.S. troops and firepower.

Also Sunday, the Afghan president's office said the former ambassador-designate to Pakistan, who was seized by gunmen two years ago in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, has been released and is back home safe.

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The diplomat, Abdul Khaliq Farahi, was freed in eastern Afghanistan late Saturday in a joint effort by officials from both countries and has returned to Kabul, where he met Sunday with President Hamid Karzai, the Afghan leader's office said. A brief statement gave no details on how he was freed.

Farahi was heading from the Afghan consulate toward his home in the border city of Peshawar on Sept. 22, 2008, when gunmen stopped the vehicle and killed his driver.

"Abdul Khaliq Farahi is in good condition and right now he is in Kabul with his family," Karzai's office said.

NATO said three coalition service members were killed in an insurgent attack in eastern Afghanistan and two others died in separate explosions in the south. The international military coalition did not provide further details or the nationalities of the dead service members. The deaths brought to 31 the number of coalition service members who have died in Afghanistan so far this month.

Insurgents also killed three Afghan policemen, who died when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb in Uruzgan province in the south, said Gov. Khudi Rahim. Two other policemen were wounded in the blast in Tarin Kot district, he said.

Tens of thousands of Afghan and coalition troops are pressing insurgents throughout southern and eastern Afghanistan, and militants are retaliating with attacks on government workers and others aligned with the international troops.

A bomb attached to a motorcycle exploded in a marketplace in the Spin Boldak district of Kandahar province, just east of the Pakistan border, killing two people and wounding 10, said district government chief Abdul Ghani.

Also in Nangahar province, a bomb placed in a wheelbarrow exploded in the provincial capital of Jalalabad, killing one person and wounding nine others, including six children and two women, the Interior Ministry said.

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Insurgents also set fire to a NATO fuel convoy early Saturday morning. A group of gunmen rushed the trucks in Behsud district of Nangarhar province — the same area on the edge of Jalalabad city where a group of would-be suicide bombers tried to storm a NATO base on Saturday, provincial government spokesman Ahmad Zia Abdulzai said.

The truck drivers quickly fled and the insurgents set 12 tankers ablaze, said Abdulzai. Firefighters worked to quell the flames throughout the morning, as police secured the area. No one was killed in the attack, Abdulzai said.

Insurgents on both sides of the Afghan-Pakistan border have routinely struck NATO supply convoys — including a pair of attacks on Oct. 6 in which 55 fuel tankers were set ablaze in Pakistan. The alliance says the attacks have not caused supply problems for troops.

NATO also reported that it was investigating the death of an Afghan child, who was inadvertently killed during fighting Sunday in Zhari district of Kandahar province. Another child also was wounded when Afghan and coalition forces shot back after coming under fire from insurgents, the coalition said.


Associated Press writer Mirwais Khan contributed to this report from Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Video: Karzai calls for lower profile for U.S. troops

  1. Transcript of: Karzai calls for lower profile for U.S. troops

    LESTER HOLT, anchor: Just a week before the US and NATO allies sit down in Portugal to discuss the future of the war in Afghanistan , Afghan President Hamid Karzai is calling on US troops to cut a lower profile and reduce the intensity of combat operations. Karzai told The Washington Post US special operations night raids, against Taliban targets in particular, have become a sore point with the Afghan people and could worsen the insurgency. NBC 's Atia Abawi has been reporting in the region for the last two years. She joins us now from Kabul . Atia , the US says the troop surge has worked, so why is Karzai suddenly asking the US to back off?

    ATIA ABAWI reporting: Well, Lester , President Karzai is being very loud and clear to both Putin as well as the Taliban leaders here in Afghanistan and Pakistan that he is ready to negotiate, that he wants the Taliban to reintegrate back into the government as well as the society here in Afghanistan . And by using The Washington Post , it's a megaphone for his message to DC politicians and it's a prominent enough newspaper for that message to make it back to the tribal regions here in Afghanistan and Pakistan so the Taliban leaders know that he's serious as well. He has admitted to speaking to very -- two very top level Taliban commanders, one that is rumored to be from the Haqqani network, a network that is notorious for killing both NATO soldiers and Afghan civilians. And many of these Taliban leaders, including those within the Haqqani network, say that they will not negotiate with the Afghan government until NATO forces leave. So he's bringing this message out. He wants the Taliban to know that he's serious, because in the last nine years -- and President Karzai 's mind-set is that he worked with the international community and there's not peace in Afghanistan yet. He feels by talking to the Taliban maybe that will bring peace into his country, and that's a gamble that he's willing to take.

    Lester: Atia Abawi in Kabul for



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