A suicide bomber in a car struck a governor's compound north of the Afghan capital, Kabul, on Monday while U.S. troops were inside, officials said. The blast killed two Afghan civilians and wounded two U.S. soldiers and 15 Afghans. A unit of U.S. troops from the nearby base at Bagram was meeting with the governor, and their vehicles were parked outside the gate when the bomber detonated his explosives, Parwan Province's police chief, Khalil Ziae, said.

Two bombings in the southern province of Kandahar on Monday killed three civilians and wounded 21, said Gen. Saifullah Khan, Spin Boldak's border police chief. A suicide bomber on a motorbike detonated his explosives in the border town of Spin Boldak first, and a minute later a bomb in a handcart went off nearby, said district chief Inayatullah Khan.


Preparations are underway in Iraq for this week's security transition, when Iraqi forces takes over responsibility for security throughout the country. The Jan. 1 takeover follows the expiration of a U.N. mandate governing the presence of foreign troops in Iraq. U.S. and some foreign troops will stay in the country, under the Iraqi government's oversight.

The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad has said U.S. forces will also maintain a presence at Camp Ashraf, home to about 3,500 members of the People's Mujahedeen Organization of Iran. The group opposes Iran's Islamic republic and fears Iran could pressure Iraqi officials to expel it members.


On Monday, Iraqi police in Ramadi announced the capture of the last two suspected militants who escaped from jail last week. The four suspected members of Al-Qaida in Iraq fled custody Friday in a jail break that left six police and seven prisoners dead. One of the fugitives was killed Saturday and another captured. The last two were seized by police Sunday after taking a family hostage.


Sweden says it has urged the United States to prosecute or release a Swedish citizen who has been held by U.S. forces in Iraq since May. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Amelie Heinsjo said Sweden has presented "a demand for a legal process and that he is given a public defense counsel, or that he is released." Heinsjo gave no other details about the case Monday. The Norrkopings Tidning newspaper reports the man became a Swedish citizen after moving from Iraq in 2000. It says he returned to Iraq in May to start a construction business.