14 Suspected Taliban Killed in Airstrike on Convoy

Airstrikes targeted a convoy of suspected Taliban militants who had left a meeting in western Afghanistan, killing 14 and wounding 10, a provincial governor said Friday.

The Taliban had met Thursday to appoint a leader in western Farah province, Gov. Muhaidin Baluch said. As they left the meeting in Bakwa district, airstrikes hit seven of their vehicles, he said.

Two of the 10 wounded lost their legs, and the 14 dead were buried near where they were killed, Baluch said.

NATO's International Security Assistance Force and the U.S.-led coalition said they had looked into the report, but had no information about it.

In the eastern Khost province, coalition and Afghan forces detained five suspected militants and destroyed a cache of weapons, the coalition said. "Credible intelligence" led the forces to the compound suspected of housing an assassination cell.

In the southern city of Kandahar on Thursday evening, a suicide car bomber rammed a government convoy, killing three bystanders and wounding Information and Culture Minister Abdul Karim Khurram, according to Kandahar Gov. Asadullah Khalid.

Earlier, two bomb blasts 15 minutes apart killed seven people, including three police officers responding to the first explosion. The first blast — a remote-controlled bomb targeting a truck — killed four private security guards, said Esmatullah Alizai, Kandahar province's police chief. About 15 minutes later, a second blast hit police inspecting the wreckage, killing three.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for both attacks.

Such double-blast attacks — a tactic often used by insurgents in Iraq — are still comparatively rare in Afghanistan.

The blasts came less than a week after Taliban field commander Mullah Dadullah was killed in a U.S.-led operation in Helmand province.

The Taliban have warned of "bad consequences" if the government did not hand over Dadullah's body to his relatives. Khalid has said that Dadullah was buried at a secret location near Kandahar.