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Rocket Attacks Hit Afghan Capital


A string of rockets was fired at the Afghan capital early Tuesday in the largest single attack in the run up to presidential elections later this month.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for firing nine rockets in Kabul, one of which landed in the diplomatic area, several hundred meters from the U.S. and British embassies. Other rockets hit near the international airport.

There were no deaths but a man and child were reported wounded.

Also Tuesday, police say a security agent and four civilians died after a suicide bomber blew himself up near an intelligence agency vehicle in southern Zabul province.

Just outside the capital, the governor of neighboring Wardak province, Mohammad Halim Fedaye, survived unharmed after his convoy was targeted by roadside bombs.

Meanwhile, an explosion killed a British soldier who was on patrol in southern Helmand Province Tuesday. Thousands of British and U.S. Marines poured into the traditional Taliban stronghold last month to secure the region ahead of presidential elections on August 20.

Dutch Army Brigadier General Tom Middendorp, who oversees NATO forces in neighboring Uruzgan province, says the surge of troops in the south is allowing NATO forces to work on development projects.

He told reporters Tuesday that voter registration was "quite successful" in Uruzgan, with more voters registered than four years ago. But he said not everyone is aware an election is being held.

Middendorp said the NATO mission is working closely with local leaders, the country's election committee and Afghan forces to help people cast ballots in a safe and secure environment.

Taliban militants have stepped up attacks making July the deadliest for U.S. and British forces since the ousting of the Taliban government in 2001.


Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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