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Afghan attack kills Canadian, hurts 3

A suicide bomber killed a Canadian soldier and an Afghan civilian Tuesday in an attack on a convoy of the NATO-led security force patrolling Kabul. The Taliban claimed responsibility.

The soldier was the first foreign victim of a fresh wave of violence that has claimed more than 60 lives this month. The attack came a day after Afghanistan's president signed the country's first post-Taliban constitution into law.

Three other Canadian soldiers and eight civilians, including a Frenchman, were wounded in the attack on a three-jeep convoy on a main road in the west of the city.

Lt. Col. Don Denne, a Canadian commander of the security force, said the attacker blew himself up as a jeep slowed down to negotiate a rut in the road, peppering the soldiers with shrapnel.

Denne told reporters the man appeared to have detonated artillery or mortar rounds strapped to his body _ a tactic previously unknown in Afghanistan. Only his severed head and legs were found.

Mullah Hakim Latifi, a Taliban spokesman who contacted the Associated Press by satellite telephone, said the attack was the start of a campaign of suicide bombings that "will be continued until the coalition forces leave our country." He identified the bomber as Hafiz Abdullah, 22, from Khost province.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the attack. U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said the attack "showed how desperate the terrorists are as Afghanistan makes progress" and vowed the Taliban will be defeated.

International troops and local police cordoned off the site of the attack, about a mile from the main Canadian base in Kabul.

The dead soldier was identified as Cpl. Jamie Brendan Murphy, 26, of Conception Harbour, Newfoundland. The wounded were Lt. Jason Matthew Feyko, 30, of Bethany, Ontario; Cpl. Jeremy Gerald MacDonald, 30, of Burnt Islands, Newfoundland; and Cpl. Richard Michael Newman, 23, of Hartland, New Brunswick.

MORE TROOPS SOUGHT: NATO's top commander in Europe voiced frustration Tuesday that members were not providing enough troops for the reconstruction effort in Afghanistan, which he said is a "defining moment" for the alliance as it adopts a broader agenda.

In testimony intended to bring members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee up to date on Afghanistan, the commander, Gen. James Jones of the Marine Corps, said NATO's plans to expand beyond the capital, Kabul, and the northern area of Kunduz would require more troops than the current 5,500.

He said he expected the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan _ 11,000, most involved in counterterrorism _ to remain the same.

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