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Attacks kill 10 police; two children die in Afghan blast

Updated February 16, 2018

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Kabul: Tadamichi Yamamoto (left), the UN special representative for Afghanistan, and Danielle Bell, a human rights official of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, address a press conference on Thursday.—AP
Kabul: Tadamichi Yamamoto (left), the UN special representative for Afghanistan, and Danielle Bell, a human rights official of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, address a press conference on Thursday.—AP

KABUL: Attacks blamed on the Taliban in northern and western Afghanistan killed at least 10 members of the country’s security forces, officials said on Thursday, while a landmine explosion in western Herat province killed two children.

In western Farah province, police commander Abdul Razaq Alkhani said a Taliban attack killed seven policemen on Wednesday night. The Taliban hit a police post in Bala Buluk district and the hours-long fighting also killed three insurgent before the Taliban were pushed back, Alkhani said.

In northern Faryab province, Karim Yuresh, spokesman for the provincial police chief, said a Taliban attack killed three policemen in Qaysar district, also on Wednesday night. Ten Taliban insurgents were also killed in the ensuing gunbattle, he added.

The two children killed in a landmine explosion in western Herat province were children of a local Taliban figure, said Abdul Ahad Walizada, spokesman of the provincial chief police.

He blamed the Taliban but did not provide more details.

The Taliban have not claimed responsibility for either of the two attacks.

Over 10,000 civilians killed or wounded last year: UN

More than 10,000 Afghan civilians were killed or wounded in violence last year, the United Nations said on Thursday, with militant bombings the main cause while air strikes by US and government forces inflicted a rising toll.

US President Donald Trump introduced a more aggressive US strategy in Afghanistan in August including a surge in air strikes. The militants have responded with attacks in Kabul in the past few weeks, killing nearly 150 people.

The overall civilian toll last year of 3,438 killed and 7,015 wounded was 9 per cent lower than the previous year. But the figures highlighted the high number of casualties caused by militant bombs, the United Nations said.

“Attacks where anti-government elements deliberately targeted civilians accounted for 27 per cent of the total civilian casualties ... mainly from suicide and complex attacks,” the United Nations said in a statement.

Published in Dawn, February 16th, 2018