Suicide Bomber Strikes Afghan-Pakistan Border Gate Wall Street Journal- India
A 15-year-old suicide bomber pushing an explosives-laden refrigerator on a wheelbarrow struck one of the two main border gates between Pakistan and Afghanistan on Thursday, the second attack on the busy crossing in under a week.
The device detonated as the boy crossed the gate, killing him and a civilian bystander, according to Akbar Durani, the home secretary of Pakistan's Baluchistan province.
Four Pakistani border guards and four Pakistani civilians were injured in the explosion at the crossing, on the main highway linking Afghanistan's city of Kandahar to the Pakistani city of Quetta.
The heavily trafficked Spin Boldak- Chaman border crossing lies on an important trade route that is used by the U.S. to withdraw military equipment as coalition troops pull out of Afghanistan. Afghanistan relies on Pakistani ports for much of its imports.
An Afghan official confirmed the attack, adding that it happened on the Pakistani side of the border. The gate was closed to traffic after the incident, the official said.
On July 5, a suicide bomber struck the border crossing on the Afghan side, killing 11 Afghan police officers.
Afghan officials initially said only one Afghan border police officer and one civilian were killed, but the U.S.-led coalition and Afghan authorities subsequently reported a higher death toll. Also on July 5, another 11 Afghan police officers were killed in a suicide attack at a police outpost in Tirinkot, in southern Uruzgan province.
Thursday's attack on the border crossing comes amid a rising civilian toll during this summer's fighting season in Afghanistan.
On Tuesday, a roadside bomb blast in Afghanistan's western Herat province claimed the lives of at least 18 civilians, including eight women and eight children. That incident drew a sharp condemnations from Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan.
Improvised explosive devices, often made with homemade explosives, are a favored weapon of Taliban insurgents. Some of the devices are triggered by pressure-sensitive plates buried in the ground, and civilians are often the victims.
The U.N. mission to Afghanistan on Wednesday urged the Taliban to refrain from placing bombs that could kill civilians, particularly during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
"I am deeply disturbed at the continued killing of Afghan civilians by improvised explosive devices," said Nicholas Haysom, the U.N. Secretary-General's Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and acting head of UNAMA, in a statement. "I reiterate the call made by UNAMA upon all parties to the conflict, issued earlier this week, to respect the sanctity of this holy month of Ramadan, and avoid actions which could harm civilians."