Rockets kill 2 NATO troops, 3 Afghan civilians

May 18, 2012 - 9:26 AM

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Rockets crashed into a U.S. base and a house Friday in a remote area of northeast Afghanistan along the Pakistan border, killing two NATO service members and three civilians, officials said.

Sabawoon Hotak, a local spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition in eastern Afghanistan, said the two service members were killed and four others were lightly wounded when the rocket struck the base in Nari district of Kunar province. The area is a haven for hardcore insurgent groups fighting along the poorly marked border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The heaviest fighting in the decade-long war is concentrated in the south and east of the country, although insurgents have opened new fronts in the north and west and continue to conduct suicide attacks in the capital, Kabul.

Provincial police chief Gen. Ewaz Mohammad Nazari said the other rocket hit a home in Marawara district, killing three people and wounding six others, including a child. He said the rocket was fired from the direction of the Afghan-Pakistan border.

NATO said it did not have any reports of rockets or mortars being launched into Kunar from Pakistan.

Also in the east, a NATO airstrike killed eight militants in Sayd Abad district of Wardak province early Friday, the governor's office said.

NATO said the insurgents were trying to plant roadside bombs in the area.

In the west, three members of the Afghan security forces — two soldiers and an intelligence official — and 11 militants were killed Friday in a gunbattle in Farah province, said deputy provincial police chief Ghulam Ghows Malyar. The security forces launched an offensive against a group of insurgents who were trying to block a road in Bala Buluk district.

On Thursday, a group of suicide bombers armed with explosive-laden vests, automatic weapons and rocket propelled grenades stormed the government compound in Farah, the capital of the province, killing seven people, officials said.

One of attackers blew himself up at the gate of the governor's complex, then three others fought their way inside. Six Afghan policemen and one civilian were killed in the two-hour gunbattle.

So far this year, 154 NATO service members have been killed in Afghanistan. At least 100 of them were Americans.