Italian soldiers die in Afghanistan car crash in Herat

  • Published
mapImage source, (C) British Broadcasting Corporation

Three Italian soldiers have been killed as the armoured car they were travelling in overturned in Afghanistan's western province of Herat, officials have said.

The vehicle was racing to rescue another, Italy's defence ministry said.

Italian President Giorgio Napolitano expressed his deepest condolences to the soldiers' families over the deaths.

Italy has deployed 3,800 soldiers as part of Nato's International Security Assistance Force (Isaf).

The accident happened some 12 miles (20km) south-west of Shindand, in the west of the country.

According to the unit's commander, quoted by the Italian press, the vehicle was involved in an operation to rescue another unit which had become blocked in bad weather.

"As it crossed a body of water it overturned, trapping three soldiers inside who subsequently died," the commander is quoted as telling La Repubblica newspaper.

In a separate development, a police officer has been killed in a car bomb attack at the entrance to a police station in the city of Kandahar, officials say.

The regional police chief said the attacker detonated his explosives at the checkpoint outside the station.

Two other police officers and two civilians were injured. No one has so far admitted carrying out the attack.