Roadside Bomb Kills 5
Polish Soldiers in Afghanistan
December 29, 2011
NATO officials say five Polish soldiers have been killed in a roadside
bomb attack in eastern Afghanistan, marking the deadliest single attack
of the Afghan war for the coalition member.
Local Afghan officials said an improvised explosive device went off
Wednesday near the convoy of troops in Ghazni province. The Taliban
immediately claimed responsibility.
Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski expressed his condolences to
family members of the slain soldiers while on a visit to Beijing. He
said NATO needs to look more to a political solution rather than a
military one to the war.
Meanwhile, The Associated Press quoted members of Poland's opposition as
renewing their call for an immediate pullout of Poland's 2,600 troops.
Poland is scheduled to withdraw all of its combat troops by 2014.
Earlier Wednesday, Afghanistan's defense ministry said that it is making
progress in training security forces ahead of the expected 2014
withdrawal of foreign combat troops.
Ministry spokesperson Mohammad Zahir Azimi said the number of Afghan
National Army troops now stands at 180,000. The United States and NATO
say they would like to see 195,000 Afghan troops in the field by October
International forces already have begun handing over security
responsibility to Afghan forces ahead of the 2014 withdrawal.
Separately, Afghan police said Wednesday they shot and killed a would-be
suicide bomber before he could detonate his explosives outside a bank in
the eastern province of Khost, a stronghold of the al-Qaida-linked
Haqqani militant network.
It is not immediately clear whether the bomber was targeting the bank or
a nearby police station. Police also are looking for a possible second
attacker who escaped.