Suicide Bomb, Roadside Blast Kill 15 In Afghanistan

A suicide bombing and roadside blast, believed to have been targeted at foreign troops, have killed 15 Afghan civilians in two separate incident in the country.

A suicide car bomber targeting foreign troops killed three Afghan civilians on Friday, while a dozen people on their way to a wedding were killed in a separate roadside blast, officials said.

Afghanistan’s war with Taliban insurgents is grinding on after international troops ended their combat role last year, and civilians continue to make up the bulk of casualties.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for Friday’s attack near the eastern city of Jalalabad on a convoy of foreign troops who are part of a residual training mission for Afghan forces.

“The suicide bomber struck just outside Jalalabad airport as the foreign troops were passing,” said Fazel Ahmad Sherzad, chief of police for Nangarhar province.

Jalalabad is the capital of Nangarhar, on the border with Pakistan. The province saw a series of militants attacks last year.

The international troops in the convoy suffered minor injuries, a spokesman for the force said.

Elsewhere on Friday, a roadside bomb blew up a car full of people travelling to a wedding in Ghazni province south of Kabul, and 12 people were killed, an official said.

About half of the dead were women and children, said Mohammad Ali Ahmadi, the provincial deputy governor.

The Taliban, whose hard-line Islamist regime was ousted in a 2001 U.S.-led intervention, say they try to limit civilian casualties in their fight to topple Afghanistan’s pro-Western government.

However, the United Nations says the insurgents and their allies are responsible for three-quarters of civilian casualties, which reached a new high of 10,000 killed and wounded last year.

The United Nations said nearly 3,700 civilians were killed and more than 6,800 were wounded last year as fighting intensified ahead of the withdrawal of thousands of foreign combat troops.



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