A suicide car bombing of a NATO convoy in southern Afghanistan has killed at least one Romanian soldier and has injured two more.
The Romanian Defense Ministry confirmed the casualties, and a local government spokesman told VOA that Friday's attack occurred close to the airbase in Kandahar, the provincial capital.
Fazal Bari Biryali said the suicide bomber rammed his explosives-packed car into the foreign military convoy, which was on a routine patrol in the area.
A Taliban spokesman swiftly took credit for the blast, claiming it destroyed a military vehicle and killed seven “foreign invaders.” The insurgent group often makes casualty claims that later turn out to be untrue.
“We remind you [NATO] once again your soldiers will keep getting killed here and our sacred jihad will continue with the same vigor as long as you have a single soldier here,” a statement sent to reporters quoted Qari Yousaf Ahmadi, who speaks for insurgent operations in southern Afghanistan.
NATO's Resolute Support (RS) mission said in a statement: "A small number of RS service members were wounded today when a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device targeted their patrol in Kandahar. The service members were taken to a medical facility at the Kandahar airfield for treatment."
Taliban insurgents routinely have targeted Afghan security forces, but their attacks on foreign troops appear to have intensified since U.S. President Donald Trump announced his “new strategy” for Afghanistan aiming to break the military stalemate with the Taliban.
A suicide bomber earlier this week near the U.S.-run Bagram military airbase, north of Kabul, wounded several American soldiers.
Last week, a bomber riding a motorbike blew himself up near U.S. forces at an entrance to the facility and officials said it caused a “small number of casualties."