Suicide Bomber Hits Kabul Bus Filled with Police For the second time in four days, a suicide bombing blamed on the Taliban targets a rush-hour bus in Kabul. The latest target was a police bus that had stopped to pick up officers on their way to work.
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Suicide Bomber Hits Kabul Bus Filled with Police

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Suicide Bomber Hits Kabul Bus Filled with Police

Suicide Bomber Hits Kabul Bus Filled with Police

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DEBORAH AMOS, host:

And I'm Deborah Amos.

As Baghdad's suicide bombing rate falls, Afghanistan's is on the rise.

NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports on the second bombing in four days.

SORAYA SARHADDI NELSON: Both times, a suicide bomber boarded an official bus and detonated his explosives, killing uniformed officers and civilians nearby. Officials say this morning the target was a police bus that had stopped to pick up officers on their way to work.

The bomber wore his explosives under a traditional shawl, but officials say he raised enough suspicion that police officers began shooting at him as he boarded. At least six police officers were killed in the explosion, as were three men and two children at the bus stop.

Saturday's bomber wore a stolen army uniform. He boarded an army bus picking up soldiers headed to their base. He detonated after being asked for his identification, which is a routine procedure. Thirty people died and several more were wounded. Taliban spokesmen say these attacks are to show Afghans that Western troops and Afghan soldiers and policemen cannot provide them with security.

It's also aimed at dissuading young Afghans from joining the police or military, which pay decent salaries in this impoverished country. The spokesman adds, the civilian victims in the bombings are martyrs in a just cause. Many Afghans in Kabul say they blame the Taliban and not their government or Western forces for such attacks.

But they also express anger with their president, Hamid Karzai, for publicly suggesting a meeting with Taliban leader Mullah Muhammad Omar hours after Saturday's army bus bombing.

Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, NPR News, Kabul.

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