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3 bombs in Afghanistan kill four during U.S. official's visit

The Baltimore Sun

KABUL, Afghanistan -- Three bombs, two of them carried by suicide attackers, exploded in southern Afghanistan yesterday, killing four people and wounding at least 10, officials said.

The attacks took place during a visit by a U.S. assistant secretary of state, Richard A. Boucher, to Kabul, where he met with members of the Cabinet. Boucher said the purpose was to discuss the strategic partnership between the United States and Afghanistan, which will include an increase in U.S. funding in the next year for the Afghan army and police forces.

The two suicide bombers struck in Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand, the main poppy-growing province, where the Taliban has its strongest presence and has forged an alliance with drug traffickers, a police official there said. The third explosion, thought at first to have been a suicide bombing, was a bomb left under a pile of rags in a crowded area at Spinbaldak, a crossing at the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, the local border police chief, Abdul Razzaq, said.

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