KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) A suicide bomber attacked a NATO convoy as it passed through a town in southern Afghanistan Friday, killing five civilians and one soldier from the U.S.-led coalition, officials said.
Mohammad Hussein Andiwal, the police chief of Helmand province, said the lone bomber, who was on foot, struck as the convoy was passing through a market area in the town of Gereshk on Friday morning.
Andiwal initially said 10 civilians has been killed, but later said that city officials on the scene had given him mistaken information. He said the five civilian victims included two children. Four more civilians were wounded, he said.
Lt. Col. Paul Fanning, a spokesman for the U.S.-led force in Afghanistan, said one of its troops also was killed. He declined to release the victim's nationality.
The blast came a day after a shooting incident in which two soldiers from the separate U.S.-led coalition were fatally wounded in Helmand. The coalition said a third soldier was wounded.
Helmand borders Kandahar province, where hundreds of NATO and Afghan troops backed by warplanes this week mounted an operation to clear militants from a fertile valley from which they could have threatened Kandahar city, the largest in Afghanistan's south.
The Afghan Defense Ministry said Thursday that 56 militants and two Afghan soldiers had died in the fighting in Arghandab.