December 24th, 2007 09:42 EST
Woman with bomb detained by Afghan agents
KABUL, Afghanistan - Afghan intelligence agents detained a 50-year-old foreign woman carrying a suicide vest in eastern Afghanistan, while a roadside explosion killed one policeman and wounded three others, officials said Monday.
It appeared the woman was transporting the vest for militants and had not intended to detonate it herself, officials said. Militants have detonated a record number of suicide attacks this year — more than 140 — but no suicide bombings have been carried out by a woman in Afghanistan.
The burqa-clad woman was detained Sunday at a bus station in the town of Jalalabad, in Nangarhar province, said Sayed Fazlullah Wahidi, governor of the neighboring Kunar province.
Authorities were questioning her, he said.
Militants often use crudely made suicide vests in their attacks against Afghan and foreign troops. Wahidi said the woman was a foreigner, though he would not say which country she comes from. The border with Pakistan is close to the region the woman was traveling through.
In Kunar province, meanwhile, a roadside blast hit a police vehicle, killing one officer and wounding three others on Sunday, said the provincial police chief, Abdul Jalal Jalal.
The explosion happened in the Wata Pur district of Kunar province on Sunday.
Also Sunday, police clashed with Taliban militants in the Gelan district of central Ghazni province, killing a local insurgent leader and two of his bodyguards, said Khan Mohammad, Ghazni's police chief.
There were no casualties among Afghan security forces, Mohammad said.
This year has been Afghanistan's most violent since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion drove the Taliban from power. More than 6,300 people, mostly militants, have been killed in insurgency-related violence, according to an Associated Press count.
NATO's International Security Assistance Force, meanwhile, said insurgents in Kandahar province have hidden bombs in two human corpses in recent days. Two Afghans were killed when a bomb planted in a decapitated Afghan exploded on Friday.
A second booby-trapped body was discovered about 20 kilometers (10 miles) away on Sunday, ISAF said.