Bomber Botches Afghanistan Suicide Attack

A suspected suicide attacker triggered a car bomb near a convoy of French troops Sunday in southern Afghanistan, killing himself but injuring no one else, Afghan officials said.

The car was parked on the side of the main road linking the southern city of Kandahar to the Pakistani border and the attacker set off the explosives as the troops passed, a government official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak with the media.

An Interior Ministry spokesman, Yousuf Stanezai, confirmed the attack but said he had no other details.

Meanwhile, a roadside bomb in eastern Paktika province Saturday killed a police chief and a second officer, while two policemen were wounded, said local police commander Shah Wali.

Also Saturday, a shootout between Taliban fighters and in the Maywand district of Kandahar left two policemen and two attackers dead, Stanezai said.

Four other policemen went missing after the fighting and they are believed to have been abducted by the Taliban. One attacker was captured, he said.

The Taliban have stepped up their insurgency in the past year, causing a spike in fighting across Afghanistan.