Source AP ©

Rocket attack in Afghan capital kills 1, injures 5; bombs kill policeman and 5 civilians

One man is killed and 5 others are wounded by a rocket, which slammed into a street in the Afghan capital Monday. Meanwhile two separate roadside bomb attacks in the east killed a policeman and five civilians, officials said.

Insurgent violence in Afghanistan has escalated in recent months after a winter lull, especially in the volatile south and east, but also in Kabul.

The rocket struck a street outside an apartment block in the east of the city, said Gen. Ali Shah Paktiawal, the city's police director of criminal investigation.

A resident of the building, who identified himself only as Maliyar, said a 27-year-old neighbor died at a hospital from injuries sustained in the attack. Local police chief Hasib Arian said a young boy was among the five wounded.

A roadside bomb hit a civilian vehicle Monday in eastern Laghman province, killing five people, including two women and a child, said provincial police chief Gen. Abdul Karim.

In eastern Ghazni province, a roadside bomb hit a police convoy Sunday night, killing one officer and wounding five, said deputy provincial police chief Mohammad Zaman.

Interior Ministry spokesman Zemeri Bashary said 102 policemen have been killed in the past two months, mostly in attacks in the southern and eastern provinces.

Meanwhile, in eastern Khost province, gunmen opened fire on a car in the border district of Gurbuz on Monday, killing a man and his father, said Khost provincial police chief Gen. Mohammad Ayub. The man worked on a U.S. base in the district, he said.

Police have arrested two suspects in the killing and are searching for a third, Ayub said. He did not provide any further details about the victim's work with U.S. troops.

Insurgency-related violence has already claimed about 1,300 lives this year, mostly militants, according to an Associated Press tally of figures from Afghan and Western officials, as U.S. and NATO forces have launched offensives and Taliban-led fighters have stepped up attacks.

The Defense Ministry said Monday that an Afghan soldier who shot and killed two U.S. troops outside a top-security prison was mentally ill.

Other Afghan troops fatally shot the gunman Sunday at Pul-e-Charkhi prison, about 30 kilometers (20 miles) east of Kabul. The shooter also wounded two U.S. soldiers.

Defense Ministry spokesman Zahir Azimi said the Afghan soldier had been hospitalized twice for mental illness. Azimi said the man had been in the army for a year and a half, and that shortly before the shooting, he had been behaving nervously around his fellow soldiers.

The Americans were working as mentors to Afghan troops providing external security for the prison, said Maj. Sheldon Smith, a spokesman for Combined Security Transition Command, which trains Afghan security forces. U.S. and Afghan authorities were trying to determine the motive for the attack.

The U.S. soldiers were in two vehicles when they were shot. The victims were not identified, and Smith provided no further details of the incident.

Pul-e-Charkhi is being revamped to house Afghans transferred from the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.

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