Suicide Bomber Wounds Four NATO Soldiers in Afghanistan

A suicide bomber drove his explosives-laden car into a Canadian military patrol in southern Afghanistan, wounding four soldiers as British troops killed nine suspected insurgents in the latest bout of violence to hit southern Afghanistan.

Insurgents also ambushed a police vehicle, killing five officers as another attack in the south left two Canadian soldiers wounded, officials said Tuesday.

Meanwhile U.S. forces hunting an Al Qaeda agent detained three men in the east.

The upsurge in violence continued unabated Tuesday as Afghanistan goes through one of its bloodiest periods since the ouster of the Taliban regime in the U.S.-led invasion in 2001.

Over 100 people — including four U.S. troops and one British soldier — have died in several days of intense fighting centered on southern Afghanistan that threatened NATO efforts to stabilize the volatile region.

The suicide bomber plowed his car into a Canadian military convoy Tuesday in the Kandahar city, killing one child, wounding four soldiers and one civilian, officials said. NATO would not disclose the nationality of wounded soldiers.

A purported Taliban spokesman, Qari Yousaf Ahmadi, said the suicide bomber that targeted the patrol was an Afghan man from Kandahar province. He said the insurgents will continue with attacks against NATO and U.S. troops.

Ahmadi often contacts journalists to claim attacks for the Taliban, but his exact ties to the militia's leadership are unclear.

An Associated Press reporter saw the wreckage of the car next to two Canadian military vehicles that were burning.

Separately, two Canadian soldiers were wounded late Monday in the Panjwayi district of the southern Kandahar province, where 71 militants and five Afghan security forces were killed over the weekend.

In the nearby Helmand province British troops using high explosive ammunition killed nine insurgents, said Maj. Toby Jackman, a spokesman for the NATO-led force.

CountryWatch: Afghanistan

Thousands of NATO and Afghan forces are battling Taliban fighters almost daily in southern province's to extend the reach of President Hamid Karzai's U.S.-backed government.

Insurgents also ambushed a police vehicle near Pakistan border in southeastern Paktika province Tuesday, killing five officers, said Abdul Malik, the governor's spokesman.

Another insurgent ambush in the nearby Ghazni province left four officers wounded.

Meanwhile, U.S. soldiers detained three suspects during a pre-dawn raid Tuesday on a compound in Khost province's Paru Kheyl village "to capture a known Al Qaeda facilitator," the American military said in statement. It was unclear who the facilitator was or if he was among those captured.

Soldiers took into custody three men in the compound, while three more were released after questioning, the military said. Troops also found weapons and ammunition.

Roughly 10,000 American soldiers are hunting Al Qaeda militants allied to Usama bin Laden and other Islamic extremists throughout remote eastern Afghanistan regions bordering Pakistan.