Afghan bomb kills wedding guests

Sun, Jan 16, 2011, 00:00

A roadside bomb killed six civilians and wounded three in the Sangin district of Afghanistan's violent southern Helmand province, the provincial governor's office said today.

A roadside bomb destroyed a car carrying nine people to a wedding in northeastern Afghanistan today, killing everyone inside including one child, the provincial governor said.

Six women and two men were the other victims of the blast in Baghlan province, north of Kabul, said governor Abdul Majid.

Violence across Afghanistan is at its worst since US-backed Afghan forces overthrew the hardline Islamist Taliban in 2001 after they refused to hand over al-Qaeda militants, including Osama bin Laden, after the September 11 attacks on the United States.

A recent string of attacks around the country has helped to dispel a belief in a winter lull in fighting. While insurgents normally target Afghan and foreign troops, civilians often bear the brunt of the attacks as they become caught in the crossfire.

The United Nations has said 2,412 civilians were killed and 3,803 wounded between January and October last year - up 20 percent from 2009.

On January 7th, a suicide bomber killed 17 people, including 16 civilians, and wounded 21 others, inside a public bathhouse in neighbouring Kandahar province, the country's worst attack in nearly six months.

A record 711 foreign troops were also killed in 2010, according to monitoring website www.iCasualties.org.

Afghan forces have been hit even harder. The government has said 1,292 Afghan police, 821 Afghan soldiers and 5,225 insurgents were killed.

Separately, the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said on Sunday Afghan and foreign forces had killed two insurgents in an operation against a Taliban leader in Wardak province, west of Kabul. Two suspected insurgents were also detained in the operation which took place yesterday.

Reuters