KABUL, Afghanistan -- A suicide bomber driving a taxi set off his explosives near a convoy of American civilian contractors and accompanying soldiers yesterday morning, killing himself and four bystanders, the Kabul police said. One of his intended targets was wounded.
Within hours, U.S. soldiers fired into a crowd of Afghans near the scene of the blast, accidentally killing one man and wounding another, according to a U.S. military spokesman, Lt. Col. David A. Accetta. "It was an unfortunate incident, and we are investigating the cause of the accidental discharge of a weapon," he said.
Witnesses said the shooting victim was a truck driver named Aziz.
Farhad Sherzad, a shopkeeper, said, "I had just sold him three Pepsis and a phone card, and he was sitting on this bench inserting the card into his cell phone."
Nervous U.S. soldiers firing into crowds in Afghanistan have been a recurring narrative of late, as have civilian casualties in suicide attacks. This was the fifth suicide bombing this year in heavily patrolled Kabul, but more than 50 others have tormented the nation in a campaign of terror for which the Taliban have claimed responsibility. A similar explosion Friday killed 10 people in southern Uruzgan province.
"The suicide bombers hate Americans, but they end up killing ordinary people," said Rahmatullah, a man selling lumber in western Kabul.