TERRORISM

Suicide bomber kills 9 rival insurgents in Afghanistan

A suicide bomber targeted a checkpoint run by rival insurgents in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province Wednesday, killing nine of them, an Afghan official said.

Mohammad Saleem Rohdi, chief of the Gareshk district, said six other militants from a breakaway Taliban faction were wounded in the attack early Wednesday.

Taliban spokesmen could not immediately be reached for comment.

Rival Taliban factions have clashed in the past, with the supporters of Mullah Rasoul, a commander in Helmand, contesting the overall leadership of Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada.

In the eastern Paktika province, a motorbike packed with explosives exploded near a local police commander's house, killing a woman and four children, said Mohammad Rahman Ayaz, spokesman for the provincial governor. He said another seven people were wounded in the blast, which was likely set off by remote control from a distance.

The police commander was not in the house at the time of the attack. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, Ayaz said.

In the capital, Kabul, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres arrived for a visit, saying he wanted to offer condolences and solidarity with the Afghan people after a string of deadly terrorist attacks.

Guterres said he hoped to "do everything possible" to ease tensions between Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan and "promote the cooperation between the two countries in addressing together the threats of terrorism."