Attacks Rock Afghanistan Ahead of Landmark Polls

Amid heightened violence ahead of Afghanistan’s landmark presidential polls scheduled for Thursday, a suicide car bombing and two explosions rocked Kabul on Tuesday, and a suicide bomber killed three soldiers in the south of the country.

The suicide car bomber struck a convoy of foreign troops on the road linking Kabul with the eastern city of Jalalabad, said Reuters.

Attributing the inputs to unnamed Afghan officials, The Associated Press said three civilians were killed in the attack that set ablaze several vehicles.

Earlier two projectiles, understood to be mortars or rockets, struck in the vicinity of the presidential palace, no death or injuries have been reported.

Speaking to correspondents, US military spokeswoman, Capt. Elizabeth Mathias, confirmed the attack saying: “We understand that two mortars or rockets — as we call it, indirect fire — hit somewhere in the vicinity of the presidential palace and the Ministry of Defense.”

Deputy presidential spokesman, Hamid Elmi, speaking to AP, said no serious damage was caused to the palace and that President Hamid Karzai had not been hurt.

In a separate attack in the southern Uruzgan province on Tuesday morning, a suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest after walking up to an Afghan National Army checkpoint.

Provincial police chief Juma Gul Himat confirmed that three soldiers and two civilians had been killed in the attack, say media reports.

In the midst of the huge surge in violence in the weeks leading up to the presidential polls, only the second in Afghan history, NATO forces on Tuesday said they will suspend offensive operations on Election Day (August 20) and only conduct ops deemed necessary for the safety of the public on that day.

The Taliban has threatened attacks against anyone participating in the electoral process and warned of vendetta against anyone breaching the boycott diktat, even past the Election Day.

The Afghan government has called for a truce during Thursday’s voting.

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