Afghan Police Kill Albanian Soldier

Posted February 20th, 2012 at 3:55 pm (UTC-5)
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Albanian officials say Afghan police opened fire on international troops Monday in southern Afghanistan, killing an Albanian soldier.

The Albanian Defense Ministry said authorities arrested 11 Afghan police officers after the shooting, which also wounded another Albanian soldier and a foreign soldier. Earlier reports said two Albanian soldiers had died.

It said the incident occurred in a village near the southern city of Kandahar, where the troops were participating in the inauguration of two schools.

This is the first time that an Albanian soldier has been killed in Afghanistan. Albania has some 260 troops in the country.

Earlier Monday in Kandahar, a suicide bomber attacked a police station in the city, killing at least one police officer.

Kandahar police chief Abdul Raziq said the attacker detonated a bomb-laden car outside the station, injuring at least four other people, both police and civilians. The blast also badly damaged a nearby civilian compound.

Both Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the commander of the international coalition in Afghanistan, U.S. General John Allen, condemned the attack.

There was no immediate claim or responsibility for the attack, but similar bombings in the past have been blamed on the Taliban.

Kandahar is the birthplace of the Taliban, and despite a massive campaign by coalition and Afghan forces to increase security in the city, insurgents continue to launch attacks on government targets.

Meanwhile, three Italian soldiers died when their armored vehicle crashed into a canal in western Afghanistan, overturning as they were crossing a stream. Officials say the accident occurred in Herat province's Shindand district.