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Series of Afghan attacks kill up to 50: officials

Published Aug 14, 2012 05:09pm


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The attack on Zaranj city is the biggest in recent memory in the relatively peaceful Nimroz province.—File Photo

KANDAHAR: Suicide attackers, an ambush and a remotely-controlled bomb killed up to 50 people across Afghanistan Tuesday in the bloodiest day for civilians this year, officials said.

The bloodshed came as the nation prepared to celebrate the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, with many of the dead shopping in bazaars for Eid celebrations, police and local government officials said.

In the worst attack, three suicide bombers killed up to 36 people in the capital of Afghanistan's southwestern Nimroz province on the border with Iran.

Hours later in the northern province of Kunduz, a bomb attached to a motorcycle killed at least 10 people in the market of Archi district near the border with Tajikistan.

Then, in Badakhshan in the northeast, a district governor and four security personnel died in an ambush as they were driving to the provincial capital Faizabad, the provincial governor's spokesman Abdul Maroof Rasekh told AFP.

Taliban insurgents, who have waged a decade-long war to topple the Western-backed government of President Hamid Karzai, were blamed for the attacks.

The attack on Zaranj city, capital of Nimroz, was the biggest in recent memory in the relatively peaceful province and one of the deadliest anywhere in the war-torn country this year. At least 66 people were injured.

Three suicide attackers out of an original group of 11 blew themselves up in separate areas of the city, one outside a hospital, police said.

“This was a group of 11 attackers who wanted to conduct simultaneous attacks across the city,” deputy provincial police chief Mujibullah Latifi told AFP.

“Security forces killed two of the suicide attackers last night and detained three others this morning. Three managed to detonate themselves while three others were gunned down.

“We have a lot of civilian casualties because two of the attackers detonated themselves near a bazaar where many people had gathered to do shopping for Eid”, he said.

President Hamid Karzai condemned the “terrorist” attacks in Zaranj city, saying: “Attacks on Muslims while they are fasting are a sign of enmity with Islam.”

The violence across the country will add to growing concerns over Afghanistan's future once some 130,000 Nato troops withdraw as planned by the end of 2014, handing responsibility for security to Afghan forces.

Western politicians keen to get their troops out of an increasingly unpopular war regularly talk up the ability of the Afghan army and police to cope on their own, but there is widespread fear of Taliban gains and a multi-factional civil war once they leave.

Nato's International Security Assistance Force said last month that attacks in the second quarter of this year were 11 percent higher than in the same period last year.

The month of June alone saw the highest number of attacks in nearly two years, with more than 100 assaults a day across the country, including firefights and roadside bombings, the US-led coalition said. Civilians continue to bear the brunt of the war.

The United Nations said 1,145 Afghan non-combatants lost their lives, mostly in Taliban and other insurgent attacks in the first six months of this year. Last year, a record 3,021 civilians died.


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Comments (6) Closed

muhammad Aug 14, 2012 04:33pm
Easy to blame others for your own problems
Shehzad Aug 14, 2012 05:22pm
I wonder what taliban will gain by attacking civilians except a bad name. However, others can get to stay there longer because of these attacks.
Sheeraz Nizamani Aug 14, 2012 05:41pm
GOD said in holy QURAN you can get knowledge and done work for himself with the help of science for your survival. but you have never right to kill the humanity. do they are following message of God ????
lubna Aug 14, 2012 08:03pm
Get the foreigners out,problem solved.
Muhammad K Aug 15, 2012 01:51am
Mr. Shehzah, they are a nation not like Pakistani, who are quietly accepting daily drone attack in their country. Imagine how you will response when Nato plan attack on your town or villages?
Rizwanul Huda Aug 15, 2012 04:14am
Ultimately it's the same story, Killing their own people, destroying their own country.