Afghan Violence Kills 13 Civilians

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Agence France-Presse

Afghan Violence Kills 13 Civilians

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KABUL — Thirteen Afghan civilians were killed in separate incidents
across Afghanistan over the weekend as a result of Taliban insurgent
attacks and NATO action, officials said Sunday.

Seven members of
one family died when a roadside bomb ripped through a civilian vehicle
in Yahyakhail district of eastern Paktika province on Saturday,
provincial spokesman Mukhlis Afghan told AFP.

"Seven civilians including three children, all members of one family, were killed in the bomb blast," he said.

Also
Saturday, three civilians were killed when NATO's International
Security Assistance Force (ISAF) bombed a Taliban meeting in southern
Helmand province, during an attack in which 17 militants also died,
provincial police chief Abdul Hakim Angar told AFP.

"NATO bombed
the Taliban location based on intelligence information," Angar said,
adding that 17 Taliban and three civilians were killed and four
civilians wounded.

He said that the Taliban had summoned seven local people to attend the meeting in the Dara-e-Hazara area.

Angar
added there were four Taliban commanders among those killed, adding
that the militants took the bodies of the four commanders and left the
rest of the corpses.

Two Afghan civilians were accidentally killed
Sunday by coalition forces after insurgents attacked an ISAF base in
Logar Province, eastern Afghanistan.

The incident, being investigated by NATO, occurred when coalition forces returned fire following an attack by insurgents.

Following
the engagement, ISAF servicemembers conducted a battlefield assessment
during which they found that two civilians had been accidentally killed.

The force said it deeply regretted that the operation had resulted in the loss of civilian lives.

Meanwhile,
US-led coalition forces said they had killed a child along with a
suspected insurgent, and wounded a civilian man in the Shah Wali Kot
district of southern Kandahar province Saturday.

The troops opened
fire, "killed an Afghan adult male and inadvertently killed a child and
wounded another adult", a statement from NATO's International Security
Assistance Force said.

"The incident occurred when the patrol engaged a suspected insurgent who was perceived as about to fire a weapon," it said.

The
wounded civilian was given immediate medical attention and was taken to
a coalition forces hospital for further treatment, the statement said.

A
recent UN report said about 20 percent of the roughly 1,300 civilians
killed in the first half of the year lost their lives in NATO and other
pro-government troops' actions, with most of the rest killed by
militants.

Two foreign troops were also killed in separate incidents.

An
ISAF soldier was killed Sunday morning in an insurgent attack in
relatively peaceful northern Afghanistan, NATO said in a press
statement.

Another ISAF soldier was killed by a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan on Saturday, the force said.

So-called
improvised explosive devices (IEDs) cause the majority of casualties
among foreign and Afghan troops fighting the Taliban.

NATO did not
release the nationalities of the two soldiers, but the total number of
foreign troops killed so far this year now stands at 556 -- the
deadliest on record -- according to an AFP tally based on the count kept
by icasualties.org.

The
United States and NATO allies have increased the number of foreign
troops fighting the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan to more than
152,000.

US-led forces stepped up attacks on insurgents early this
year as part of a new strategy aiming to root out Taliban militants
before drawing down their military presence next year.

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