KABUL, Afghanistan - A roadside bomb killed 10 workers in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday, and NATO again promised that the coalition would not abandon the country even if some members planned to withdraw their forces. Also Tuesday, two high-ranking government officials survived assassination attempts.
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said plans to hand over control of seven areas to Afghan soldiers in July remained on course, despite new bombings and assaults by insurgents. Those areas include Bamiyan and Panjshir provinces; the cities of Lashkar Gah, Herat, Mazer-e-Sharif, and Mehterlam, and nearly all of Kabul province.
"Those who threaten Afghanistan's future should be under no illusion - NATO is and remains committed to Afghanistan," Fogh Rasmussen told Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
NATO also acknowledged Tuesday that soldiers shot dead an Afghan holding a flashlight during a raid, something that may add to the growing antiforeigner sentiment in Afghanistan after a decade of war.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the roadside bombing aimed at workers in Kandahar, which has seen a rise in incidents in recent days. The workers on the truck were employed by the local government to clean up rivers and streams, said Dr. Qayoum Pakhla of Kandahar Hospital. Ten died and 28 were injured in the attack.
Ahmad Ziad, a deputy chief at the National Directorate for Security, escaped injury in an attempted suicide bombing that targeted his car as he was traveling to work in Kabul, police said.