Insurgency-related violence claims 13 people in Afghanistan

August 18th, 2008 - 5:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Kabul, Aug 18 (DPA) Thirteen civilians were killed Monday in a suicide attack in eastern Afghanistan and a NATO offensive on militants in the south, officials said. A suicide attack outside a US military base in Khost province killed nine civilians while NATO forces earlier killed four civilians with rockets in Helmand province, officials said.

A suicide bomber detonated his explosives-laden vehicle outside a compound in Khost, killing nine labourers who were standing in line for a security check to enter the US base, provincial Governor Arsala Jamal said.

He said 13 other labourers were wounded in the attack, and police shot dead two would-be suicide bombers riding in another explosives-packed vehicle near the base.

“The explosion did not penetrate the base’s perimeter,” a US military statement said.

US forces assisted in taking the wounded to the base hospital, it said, without saying whether there were any troop casualties.

In the southern province of Helmand, four civilians were killed and three were wounded Saturday during a NATO attack on insurgents positioning themselves to attack a military convoy in the Sangin district, the alliance said in a statement.

“The patrol identified insurgents with weapons on the roof of the compound preparing to attack and in order to protect themselves launched three rockets, all of which hit the target,” the statement said.

The civilians were inside the compound at the time,” it said, adding that the dead and wounded civilians were all women and children.

Several militants were also killed Sunday when a group of insurgents attacked US-led forces during a search operation in the Tag Aab district of the north-eastern province of Kapisa province, a US military statement said.

The troops responded to the insurgents’ attack with small-arms fire and airstrikes and recovered weapons and ammunition, it said.

About 3,000 people, including at least 1,000 civilians, have been killed in violence so far this year, according to figures provided by Afghan and foreign military sources.

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