Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

  • Kerry calls for 'coalition of nations' to battle IS militants

    Read more

  • EU leaders meet in Brussels to seek a response to Russia

    Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns Russia of more sanctions

    Read more

  • IMF stands behind Lagarde amid French corruption probe

    Read more

  • Ebola drug ‘ZMapp’ heals all monkeys in study

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • Police hunt for British boy with brain tumour taken to France

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • Suriname leader’s son pleads guilty to courting Hezbollah

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

  • France shines in IMF list of world’s promising economists

    Read more

  • Chelsea’s Torres set for AC Milan switch

    Read more

  • First case of Ebola confirmed in Senegal

    Read more

  • Obama has 'no strategy yet' against IS militants in Syria

    Read more

  • Netflix to woo French with ‘House of Cards’ set in Marseille

    Read more

  • French businesses ‘hoping for a new Thatcher’

    Read more

  • The deleted tweets of Manuel Valls

    Read more

  • Libyan PM resigns as Islamists set up rival administration

    Read more

  • Syrian refugees surpass three million, UN says

    Read more

  • UN says 43 peacekeepers captured in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • Peru seizes record 6.5 tonnes of Europe-bound cocaine

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Roadside bomb kills 11 civilians

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-07-17

A Taliban bomb ripped through a civilian pick-up vehicle in Kandahar province on Friday, killing eleven civilians including five children. Roadside bombs are the Talibans' weapons of choice in the nearly eight-year insurgency.

AFP - A Taliban bomb attack killed 11 civilians, including children and toddlers, going to a shrine in Afghanistan on Friday, police said following a surge of attacks ahead of key elections.

The explosives ripped through a civilian pick-up vehicle taking a group of men, women and children to visit a centuries-old tomb in Spin Boldak district in Kandahar province, just a few kilometres (miles) from the Pakistani border.

"Three women, three men and five children were killed," General Saifullah Hakim, a senior border police official, told AFP.

"All of them were civilians. They were going to a shrine when their vehicle was hit by a newly planted bomb," he added.

Police said three women were wounded and evacuated to hospital.

"Today at around 9:00 am, a mini-van struck a roadside bomb in the Wanaki area of Spin Boldak," General Abdul Raziq, border police chief for Zabul and Kandahar provinces, told AFP, confirming the death toll.

"Three (of the dead) children were between one and two years old. The other two were aged around five," he said.

There was no claim of responsibility, but police blamed the attack on "enemies of the country" -- a term used to refer to the Taliban, Islamist hardliners leading an insurgency against the US-backed Afghan government.

Officers, quoting witness reports from the remote desert area, said the force of the blast ripped many of victims to pieces and that the death toll was calculated after pieces of flesh were collected from the site.

Roadside bombs are the deadliest weapon used by insurgents fighting against Afghan and Western forces, but also routinely kill and maim civilians.

Raziq speculated that border police may have been the intended target of Friday's blast because there was a border police post on the same road.

Afghanistan's nearly eight-year insurgency is at its deadliest, forcing the United States to dispatch an extra 21,000 soldiers in a bid to stabilise the country ahead of presidential and provincial council elections on August 20.

President Hamid Karzai is standing for re-election, but the spike in attacks has raised fears of violence disrupting the vote.

The Taliban, who were in government between 1996 and 2001 until they were ousted by a US-led invasion, are fighting to regain control of the vast, predominantly rural country and oust foreign troops.

On July 9, a truck rigged with explosives blew up near Kabul, killing 25 people, including school students, in one of the deadliest blasts this year.

July has become the deadliest month for foreign troops fighting in Afghanistan since the 2001 US-led invasion, as Taliban guerrillas hone techniques copied from Iraq and Westerners struggle in a harsh climate.

The independent website icasualties.org, which calculates military losses in Afghanistan and Iraq, put the number of dead in the Afghan war at 47 so far this July, topping previously month records of 46 in June and August 2008.

In less than seven months, 203 foreign troops have died in Afghanistan, compared to 294 in 2008, 232 in 2007 and 191 in 2006. Just 12 soldiers died in 2001, when US-led troops invaded and launched the US-led global war on terror.

Nearly 4,000 US Marines this month launched a major operation in Taliban strongholds in the Helmand, which neighbours Kandahar and where an estimated 3,000 British troops have also launched an offensive further north.
 

Date created : 2009-07-17

COMMENT(S)