KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An Afghan army vehicle hit a roadside bomb in northern Afghanistan on Thursday, killing three Afghan soldiers and wounding three others, an official said.
The explosion occurred around 3 a.m. as the soldiers were patrolling in Baghlan province, said Lal Mohammad Ahmadzai, a spokesman for the Afghan security forces in northern Afghanistan.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but the Taliban have been targeting Afghan security forces this summer in an effort to show that they are too weak to take over from foreign combat troops that are withdrawing.
Two other roadside bombs were reported in Baghlan last month, including one that killed four Afghan policemen. In the other attack, a convoy of vehicles transporting the Afghan minister of higher education hit a roadside bomb while traveling in the province. The minister was not riding in the vehicle that hit the bomb, but two of his bodyguards were wounded in the blast.
Separately, NATO reported Thursday that a joint Afghan and coalition force had killed Mullah Anwar, a senior leader with the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan in Baghlan province. The coalition said Anwar had been involved in Monday's assassination of the mayor of Ishkamish district in neighboring Takhar province.
Formed in the early 1990s, the IMU initially aimed to set up an Islamic state in Uzbekistan, which borders northern Afghanistan. The group later expanded its goal to seeking an Islamic state across Central Asia.
NATO said Anwar and several other insurgents were killed in a precision airstrike after Afghan and coalition forces were attacked by militants Wednesday in Ishkamish.