KANDAHAR, Afghanistan – A bomb exploded near a U.S. military vehicle in southeastern Afghanistan (search) on Monday, injuring three American soldiers, the military said. A newly appointed police chief escaped a similar blast in a key southern city.
The three soldiers were traveling in an armored Humvee 35 miles east of Qalat, the capital of troubled Zabul province, when it was damaged by a homemade bomb, said American spokesman Maj. Rick Peat.
Peat said the three suffered burns and their injuries were not critical. "They should be fine," he said.
The wounded soldiers were evacuated to a large American base at Kandahar (search), Afghanistan's main southern city and the scene of another explosion Monday.
The remote-controlled bomb went off near a vehicle carrying the newly appointed chief of police for Kandahar province, damaging his car but injuring no one.
Khan Mohammed, a former provincial army commander who was appointed police chief on Sunday, was going to his office when the bomb went off, said Salim Khan, a deputy police chief.
Khan blamed Taliban (search) insurgents for the attack, but offered no evidence to back up his claim.
Mohammed, contacted by The Associated Press, confirmed the attack and vowed to "wipe out terrorists" from his area.
"These attacks cannot stop me from my work," he said. "I will continue my work to improve law and order."
Kandahar and Zabul provinces have seen frequent attacks against U.S. and Afghan troops, police and government officials since Afghanistan's former Taliban regime was ousted as a result of U.S.-led operations in late 2001.
Taliban insurgents have asked police and other Afghan officials not to work for the coalition forces and Afghan President Hamid Karzai (search).