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Three Wounded In Khandahar Grenade Attack - 2002-09-20


Witnesses in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar say at least three people have been wounded in a grenade attack by men wearing burqas -- a Muslim coverall for women.

The witnesses say two attackers drove up to a vegetable market in a taxi (Friday) and hurled grenades at shoppers. The driver of the taxi was quickly surrounded and arrested, but there are conflicting reports on whether the attackers escaped.

The motive for the attack and the identity of the assailants remains unknown. One report (from Reuters) says that among the wounded were two bodyguards of the local military corps commander, General Khan Mohammad.

Kandahar remains on edge two weeks after Afghan President Hamid Karzai survived an assassination attempt in the city on September Fifth. The area was a stronghold of Afghanistan's Taleban rulers until their ouster late last year.

Meanwhile, a U-S military spokesman says U-S special forces near the eastern Afghan city of Khost came under attack today (Friday) with rockets and small arms fire.

Colonel Roger King says the unknown attackers launched six (107-millimeter) rockets toward the U-S base near the town of Lwara, southwest of Khost. The spokesman says all of the rockets missed their target and there were no U-S casualties.

Colonel King says U-S forces responded with mortar and machine-gun fire and called in warplanes that dropped four bombs.

The incident was different than most attacks against U-S forces in Afghanistan. This time, the attackers stayed around to fight. Past attacks have usually involved timing devices that fired the rockets after the attackers left the scene.

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