A ROADSIDE BOMB KILLS 18 WEDDING GUESTS IN AFGHANISTAN

Posted on Friday, October 19th, 2012 and is filed under International News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

  MT NEWS (Kabul): A massive roadside bomb has killed at least 18 people on their way to a wedding in northern Afghanistan.

At least 15 others have been wounded in what a BBC correspondent called one of the worst such attacks in the country for some time.

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A minibus was carrying men, women and children to the wedding in the Dawlatabad district of Balkh province when it was struck by the bomb.

It is not clear whether they were the intended target.

No-one has yet claimed responsibility.

Officials say they expect the number of dead to increase.

Northern Afghanistan has generally been one of the safest parts of the country since the US-led invasion in 2001, says the BBC’s Andrew North in Kabul.

But Balkh has seen an increase in Taliban activity in recent years, which Nato forces – despite their extra numbers – have been unable to suppress.

A UN report in August said civilian casualties had actually fallen for the first time in five years in Afghanistan – suggesting both sides in the war are becoming increasingly sensitive to the impact of civilian deaths.

But the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (Unama), which published the report, said it was concerned that the number of civilian deaths and injuries “remains at a high level”.

There are no exact figures for the number of civilians killed since the war began in 2001, but most estimates calculate a minimum of 20,000 civilian deaths.

 

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