Bomb kills nine wedding guests in Afghanistan

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PUL-E-KHUMRI – A roadside bomb destroyed a car carrying nine people to a wedding in northern Afghanistan on Sunday, killing everyone inside including one child, the provincial governor said.
The previous day, six civilians were killed by a roadside bomb in southern Helmand province and another six died after an airstrike by foreign forces in mountainous eastern Kunar, local officials said. Three children were among the dead in the airborne attack on two houses in the Kodagai area which straddles Kunar’s Dangam and Shigal districts, Sultan Sediqi, a member of the provincial council, told Reuters.
The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement that an air raid in Kunar’s Dangam district had killed “numerous” insurgents, after they were identified as an imminent threat to ground forces. It was not clear if this was the incident referred to by Sediqi. When asked about the allegations of civilian casualties, a spokeswoman for NATO-led forces said they had not carried out any operations in Shigal and those killed by the air operation in Dangam had been “positively identified as insurgents”. Violence across Afghanistan is at its worst since the 2001 overthrow of the Taliban government, with the insurgency spreading rapidly in previously peaceful areas such as the north, and civilian and military casualties at record levels. A recent string of attacks around the country has helped to dispel expectations of a winter lull in fighting. While insurgents normally target Afghan and foreign troops, civilians often bear the brunt of the attacks as they are caught in the crossfire.