2 Kabul Guards Give Lives, Save Mall in Bombing
Two men catch bomber in metal detector
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Feb 14, 2011 12:14 PM CST
In this file photo, an Afghan woman chats with her daughter while shopping in a modern shopping mall in Kabul, Afghanistan.   (AP Photos/Farzana Wahidy)

(Newser) – No shoppers or clerks were hurt in a suicide bombing at an Afghanistan mall today—thanks to the heroic efforts of a pair of security guards. When the bomber set off a metal-detector alarm, they opened fire, and the bomber quickly set off his explosives, witnesses told the New York Times. The three men were the only ones killed, though two bystanders were wounded.

“The police will not sacrifice themselves for you, but the security guards gave their lives,” said a shop manager. The Afghan National Police arrived soon after the attack, and NATO troops were sent as “observers,” the Times notes, now that Kabul’s security is in Afghan hands. American Special Forces soldiers arrived last and inspected the area. Meanwhile today, the head of the NATO training mission cited “an incredible transformation” among the country's 117,000 police officers over the past 15 months, including vast improvements in literacy: 86% of them can now read at a first-grade level.