Los Angeles Times, June 3, 2013
Afghan bombings kill nine children, 10 others
Insurgent violence in the past two weeks has killed 125 Afghan civilians and injured 287
By Hashmat Baktash and Alex Rodriguez
KABUL, Afghanistan—Two bomb blasts killed at least 19 people, including nine schoolchildren, in eastern Afghanistan on Monday, as Afghan Taliban militants continued a wave of violence as part of their spring offensive.
In one attack, a suicide bomber on a motorcycle detonated his explosives in a busy market in eastern Paktia province along the Pakistani border, killing nine schoolchildren and an Afghan police officer, said Paktia police chief Zalmai Oryakhail.
Afghan children stand near the wreckage of a vehicle after an explosion in Kandahar, south of Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, July 9, 2012. Three suicide bombers riding a three-wheeled vehicle blew themselves up in Kandahar city, killing two children and wounding several other civilians, said Kandahar provincial spokesman Ahmad Jawed Faisal. (Photo: Allauddin Khan/AP)
Two U.S.-led coalition soldiers were among those killed in the attack, NATO forces said. Their nationalities were not disclosed as of Monday afternoon. An Afghan police officer also was killed, Oryakhail said.
The target appeared to be a U.S. military convoy that had been passing by a school in the area at the time of the blast, Oryakhail said.
Earlier Monday in eastern Laghman province, a car ran over a roadside bomb, which killed a family of seven inside, including four women and two children, said Sarhadi Zowak, spokesman for eastern Laghman province. The family had driven to the mountains to gather firewood and were on their way back home when the blast occurred, Zowak said.
United Nations officials condemned both attacks.
“These attacks resulted in a high number of civilian casualties, with minimal impact on their purported military targets – any such violence is unacceptable, but especially when it involves civilians and even more so when it involves children,” said the U.N. Secretary-General’s special representative in Afghanistan, Jan Kubis. “Any attacks which deliberately take place near a school can only be condemned for the heinous attacks that they are.”
Insurgent violence in the past two weeks has killed 125 Afghan civilians and injured 287, a 24% increase in total civilian casualties from the same period in 2012. Antigovernment forces were to blame for 84% of all civilian casualties during that two-week period.
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