NATO convoy attacked in Kabul, civilians wounded

An Afghan policeman keeps watch at the site of a car bomb attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, on September 24, 2017. (REUTERS)
Updated 24 September 2017
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NATO convoy attacked in Kabul, civilians wounded

KABUL: A suicide bomber targeting a NATO convoy wounded three Afghan civilians in Kabul on Sunday morning without causing casualties among Danish troops on board, officials said.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the bombing in the west of the Afghan capital.
“Around 11:02 a.m., a suicide car bomber detonated himself, targeted a convoy of foreign forces near Afshar neighborhood of Kabul city,” Najib Danish, Interior Ministry spokesman, told AFP.
“Unfortunately as a result of the attack, three Afghan civilians were wounded.”
Bill Salvin, a spokesman for NATO’s Resolute Support train and assist mission, confirmed the attack had targeted a military convoy.
“There are no Resolute Support casualties as a result of the explosion, and a team from Resolute Support is on the scene to recover the vehicle,” Salvin said, adding that “there is no impact to Resolute Support operations.”
In a statement on Twitter Sunday, Taliban insurgents claimed to have killed and injured up to 16 American soldiers in the attack. The militants routinely exaggerate claims.
NATO has nearly 13,000 troops in Afghanistan including 8,400 Americans, with an additional 3,000 troops expected to be deployed in support.
The alliance’s mission in Afghanistan is focused on training, advising and supervision of domestic security forces to counter the Taliban insurgents — who oppose the Western-backed government of President Ashraf Ghani — and Daesh.
On Sept. 13, a suicide bomber killed three people including a policeman and wounded five others after blowing himself up near a cricket stadium in Kabul.
Past suicide attacks on such convoys have usually caused casualties among nearby civilians while leaving their targets relatively unharmed. NATO personnel now often travel even short distances in Kabul by helicopter.
The Taliban, which often exaggerates casualty estimates from its attacks, said 16 Americans had been killed and three armoured vehicles destroyed. It said it was preparing to step up the pace of attacks on foreign forces in Afghanistan.
NATO personnel travelling by road normally travel in convoys of three heavily armoured personnel carriers which can resist all but the heaviest explosions.


Trump now says no ‘time limit’ to denuclearize North Korea

Updated 2 min 48 sec ago
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Trump now says no ‘time limit’ to denuclearize North Korea

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump said Tuesday there is no hurry to denuclearize North Korea under his accord with Kim Jong Un — a shift in tone from when the US leader said the process would start very soon.
“Discussions are ongoing and they’re going very, very well,” Trump told reporters.
“We have no time limit. We have no speed limit.”
Trump said he discussed North Korea with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday at their summit in Helsinki.
“President Putin is going to be involved in the sense that he is with us,” Trump said.
The Republican president met with Kim on June 12 for an unprecedented summit in Singapore during which the North Korean leader pledged to work toward denuclearization of the peninsula.
But the accord did not spell out a timetable for the process or say how it would be carried out. Diplomats are now expected to hammer out the details.
More than a month later, no concrete progress has been reported and North Korea has complained the Americans are making unilateral demands.
Before the Singapore summit, the Trump administration said denuclearization should start “without delay,” and after the meeting, it spoke of the process beginning “very quickly.”
A day after the meeting, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the bulk of North Korea’s denuclearization should be completed by the end of Trump’s term in 2020.
The White House has hailed the summit between Kim and Trump in Singapore as a major breakthrough toward disarming the isolated, nuclear-armed North in exchange for easing of sanctions and other help with economic development.
Pompeo met with Kim’s key aide this month during his latest trip to Pyongyang but as soon as he left, the North’s foreign ministry berated him over his “unilateral and gangster-like” demands.
Trump last week signaled optimism however, unveiling a letter from Kim in which the young leader hailed the “start of a meaningful journey” and tweeting “Great progress being made!“