Italian soldier killed in western Afghanistan

Associated Press

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An attacker lobbed explosives into an armored vehicle in western Afghanistan on Saturday, killing one Italian soldier and wounding three others, Italy's government said.

The Defense Ministry said the attack in Farah province came as the Italian soldiers were returning to their base from training Afghan security forces.

Taliban insurgents have launched intense attacks across the country as Afghan forces take over most security responsibility ahead of most foreign troops' withdrawal next year

The convoy of three armored vehicle apparently had been slowed by traffic near an intersection when an attacker ran up and threw an explosive device into the lead vehicle, the ministry said. It added that the three wounded soldiers' injuries were not life-threatening.

The Taliban quickly took responsibility for the attack, with spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi claiming that the attacker was an 11-year-old boy.

But Farah province provincial government spokesman Abdul Rahman Zhawandai says an adult man was seen throwing a grenade, then escaping by blending into the crowd at a nearby vegetable market.

The death brought to 13 the number of international troops killed in Afghanistan this month. On Thursday, seven Georgian soldiers died in a truck bombing at their base in the south.

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