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Bomb kills 20 civilians in Afghanistan, January 19, 2011

Press TV, Wed Jan 19, 2011 2:19PM

 A roadside bomb has claimed the lives of at least 20 civilians, including women and children, in eastern Afghanistan, the Interior Ministry says.

The incident took place on Wednesday in Khoshamad district of eastern Paktika province, when a three-wheeled vehicle packed with civilian passengers struck the roadside bomb, killing 20 civilians, including 13 children and six women, and wounding several others.

Violence has escalated in war-torn Afghanistan in recent months with militants staging frequent attacks on US-led foreign troops, government officials, as well as civilians.

Afghan civilian casualties were at record levels in 2010. The number of civilians killed or wounded in the Afghan war increased by 20 percent during the first 10 months of 2010, compared with the same period last year.

The Afghan Interior Ministry says 2010 has been the deadliest year for civilians since the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

Afghans also blame foreign troops and their military operations for the civilian deaths. The rising number of civilian casualties has increased anti-US sentiments in the troubled region.

The surge in violence comes despite the presence of 150,000 US-led troops that are supposedly engaged in efforts to end terror attacks and bring stability to the war-ravaged country.


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