Suicide Bombing In Eastern Afghanistan Kills 10 Children, 2 NATO Soldiers; Landmine Blast Kills 7

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US soldier in Afghanistan
A U.S. soldier looks through a pair of binoculars on his rifle as he patrols the Jaji district of the southeastern Paktia province, near the Afghan-Pakistan border January 28, 2008.

A suicide bomb attack on Monday near a school in eastern Afghanistan, targeting a U.S. military convoy, killed 13 people, including 10 schoolchildren, two NATO coalition soldiers and an Afghanistan police officer, officials said.

The bomber on an explosive-laden motorcycle detonated the explosives at midday near the office of the governor of Paktia province, as the U.S. military patrol passed, Associated Press reported.

About 20 people, including five coalition soldiers and several students, were injured in the attack, authorities said.

Gen. Zelmia Oryakhail, provincial police chief of Paktia province told AP that the schoolchildren were out for lunch when the explosion occurred.

A statement by the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, or ISAF, said two of its service members were killed, but did not reveal the nationality of the soldiers.

The Afghan interior ministry said 10 schoolchildren and one Afghan police officer were killed. It did not identify the children or reveal their ages. A witness told Reuters that most of the injured children were under the age of 12.

Meanwhile, in Mehtarlam, the capital of eastern province of Laghman, seven Afghan civilians were killed on Monday in a landmine blast, AP reported.

Laghman provincial authorities said a vehicle carrying four women, two children and a male driver, hit the mine and all passengers were killed.

Landmines and roadside bombs in Afghanistan, planted by insurgents as well as those left over from Soviet occupation, often kill civilians.

Monday’s suicide attack is the latest in a wave of insurgent bombings in recent weeks against government targets and international aid agencies in the country.

 

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