Suicide bomber attacks Italian base in Afghanistan



ROME (AP) — Italy’s defense minister says five Italian soldiers were wounded, one of them gravely, in a suicide bomb attack just outside the country’s military compound in Herat, Afghanistan.

Officials say at least four people were killed when the suicide attacker blew up an explosives-packed car while a second explosion ripped through a busy downtown intersection.

Italian Defense Minister Ignazio La Russa told reporters in Rome Monday that one of the soldiers inujured is a captain who was gravely wounded in the abdomen.

The Italians are participating in NATO’s mission in Afghanistan. Premier Silvio Berlusconi offered his “encouragement” to all Italian soldiers. At least one of his allies was urging a negotiated solution so that Italy’s contingent could withdraw as soon as possible.