In southern Afghanistan fighting between the Taliban and Nato-led forces is intensifying. A suicide car bombing on Wednesday near Kandahar killed at least one Afghan and injured several people, including two Canadian soldiers. It was the latest incident in an upsurge of attacks in the last few months.
The mountainous region near Kandahar has been a stronghold of the ousted Taliban regime and is now the focus of the biggest western offensive in the country since 2002. Operation Mountain Thrust aims to flush Taliban fighters out of the hills from which they have been launching attacks against Nato-led and Afghan forces.
Canadian troops are at the forefront of the push involving several nations. Part of their mission is to try to win over local people wary of foreign soldiers. Villagers in the region are increasingly being caught up in the conflict. Recently a bus taking people to work at a coalition air base was blown up by the Taliban. Ten Afghans were killed and 16 wounded.