KABUL, Afghanistan -- Twelve trucks, most of them carrying fuel to a NATO base in eastern Afghanistan, were burned by an angry crowd early Sunday less than 30 miles from Kabul, according to local officials and NATO reports. The attack was thought to be in retribution for two raids by a joint Afghan-American force over the weekend, Afghan officials said.
It was the first significant attack on a convoy in Logar Province, south of Kabul, in the past 18 months, said the provincial governor's spokesman, Din Mohammed Darwish.
The attack and a similar one on Saturday on a single truck were notable because Logar is the southern gateway to Kabul, the Afghan capital, and has been used by the Taliban to get arms, fighters and support into the capital.
While insurgent activity had calmed there after a concerted effort by American troops and Afghan forces last year, it seems that the remaining insurgents are tapping into resentment among local people about continuing raids by American and Afghan troops, local officials said. These raids occasionally wound or kill civilians as well as insurgents.
"People are fed up with these night raids and willful operations," said Mohammed Sharif, a teacher in Pul-i-Alam, the provincial capital, which is near the villages raided by the joint forces.
"They are raiding houses during the night, killing innocent people," he said. "Sometimes they kill opposition people as well, but usually they are harming ordinary and innocent people."
Five Afghan insurgents, as well as two American soldiers, were killed Friday night in the first raid of the weekend, according to a NATO report. The second raid, on Saturday night, killed three people, including one who might have been a civilian, according to the provincial police chief, Gen. Mustafa Mohseini. One of those killed was the headmaster of the high school at Poorak, a neighboring village; he was also a cleric.
"We don't have information about whether he was related to the Taliban," General Mohseini said, referring to the headmaster, adding that the Taliban used the death to urge people to attack the convoy. "We know that the Taliban were urging the people to demonstrate, especially because one guy who was killed in last night's operation was the headmaster of the school and the mullah of the mosque."
An investigation by Logar's governor into the attack on the fuel trucks found that at least two trucks had been hit by rocket-propelled grenades, which are often used by the Taliban, suggesting they were involved in the attack, Mr. Darwish said.
"This is not a sign that insurgency has surged in the area," General Mohseini said. "The Taliban are weak now; they can't resist and fight against Afghan and coalition forces. When they lose fighters they are trying to provoke people against the government and coalition forces."
A NATO spokeswoman, Maj. Virginia McCabe, said, "Insurgent activity has remained low in the last few weeks in Logar Province."
"Historically, the level of activity is the same as the previous year," Major McCabe said. "The most recent event is most likely an isolated incident."
In Kandahar, gunmen shot and killed the brother of an Afghan senator on Sunday morning. It was the 12th assassination in two months. The spokesman for President Hamid Karzai said the brother of Senator Mullah Sayed Mohammad Akhond was killed in what the spokesman, Waheed Omar, described as another in a series of "mysterious" assassinations for which no one has claimed responsibility. "The president is personally following this matter," Mr. Omar said.
In Zabul Province, in southern Afghanistan, a suicide bomber seeking to strike a security company convoy blew himself up in the Shah Joy bazaar, killing a company guard and two civilians and wounding seven other civilians, said the provincial governor's spokesman, Mohammad Jan Rasulyar. It was the first bombing in the bazaar since the Afghan new year began in March. There were eight bombings in the bazaar last year, the spokesman said.
In Kunduz Province, in northern Afghanistan, dozens of girls in three schools have fallen ill in the past week, according to news service reports. Some local authorities have suggested that the Taliban are to blame and that they released poisonous substances to discourage girls from attending school.
The girls in all three schools described a strange smell before they fell ill, but no scientific proof was offered that their symptoms were caused by anything they ingested or inhaled.
Mr. Omar, the president's spokesman, said that if extremists had done something to sicken the girls in an effort to keep them from school, they had committed "terrorist acts."