KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - Two coordinated bomb blasts killed seven people in southern Afghanistan yesterday, including three police responding to the first explosion - an Iraq-style attack rarely seen here.
Hours later, a suicide car bomber rammed into a convoy that usually carries Kandahar Gov. Asadullah Khalid. He was not in the convoy, but the apparent assassination attempt killed three civilians on the street and wounded four government employees, including the information and culture minister and one of Khalid's bodyguards.
The blasts in Kandahar came less than a week after Taliban field commander Mullah Dadullah was killed during a U.S.-led operation in neighboring Helmand province.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the first two attacks in their former stronghold, saying that the second blast was timed to hit as more police arrived.
The first blast - a remote-controlled bomb targeting a pickup truck - killed four private security guards, said Esmatullah Alizai, Kandahar province's police chief.
About 15 minutes later, a second remote-control bomb exploded, killing three policemen and wounding four, Alizai said.
Several journalists covering the aftermath of the primary explosion were splattered with blood or shrapnel from the deafening blast.
The first bomb sent the pickup truck cascading off the road, and left it a burning wreck. The second bomb ripped through the bystanders - mostly police and journalists, as civilians were barred from entering the area. The severed leg of one policeman landed near an Associated Press reporter. Another dead officer in bloodied, white clothes lay on the ground 10 yards away.
Kandahar has seen such double attacks before - a tactic often used by insurgents in Iraq - but they are still comparatively rare in Afghanistan.
About 1,600 people have been killed in insurgency-related violence this year, according to an AP count based on U.S., NATO and Afghan officials.