KABUL - An improvised bomb killed four police and a civilian on Monday in an Afghan town where hundreds of French troops have been deployed to fight Taliban rebels as part of the NATO mission, officials said.
The bombing, similar to attacks carried out by insurgents against Afghan and NATO forces, killed a local police commander who was the apparent target of the blast, provincial governor Mehrabuddin Safi told AFP.
The explosion in Tagab, a troubled district in the province of Kapisa, also killed the police commander's son, two of his guards and a civilian, the governor said.
Many of the 3,500 French troops operating in Afghanistan as part of NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) are deployed in Kapisa.
Seventeen civilians were injured in the blast in the town's main bazaar, the governor said. Most of the wounded were Afghan civilians visiting the town for the weekly market day, he said.
Homayoun Rashidi, a local police spokesman, said the bombing targeted a group commander in the US-funded semi-militia force known as the Afghan Local Police, which is tasked to fight insurgents in remote parts of the country.
Kapisa sees regular Taliban violence, mostly roadside bombing, suicide attacks and militant ambushes.
Four French troops and two of their Afghan interpreters were killed in a suicide bomb attack last weekend, which was claimed by the Taliban.