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Militant rocket hits Afghan civilian bus, kills 2 People

08 October, 2009

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KABUL: An insurgent rocket ripped through a bus driving on a highway in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, killing two people aboard and wounding about 25, the government said.

The militants appeared to have been aiming for a nearby police checkpoint, but the rock et fell short of the target and hit the busload of civilians instead, the Interior Ministry said.

The deaths in Ghazni province‘s Qarabagh district are part of a growing civilian toll from roadside bombs, battles and suicide attacks this year.

A U.N. report issued last month said August was the deadliest month of 2009 for civilians because of violence from the insurgency. A total of 1,500 civilians died in Afghanistan between January and August, up from 1,145 for the same period of 2008. About 68 percent of the deaths were due to the insurgents, the report said.

Military clashes have also intensified. On Wednesday, American and Afghan forces battled militants in neighboring Wardak province, killing a number of insurgents. U.S. forces spokeswoman Capt. Regina Gillis declined to say exactly how many militants were killed, but said it was fewer than 10. No casualties were reported among American or Afghan forces.

The troops were attacked while searching a compound used by a Taliban group believed to be organizing bomb attacks in the area, a NATO statement said.

Afghanistan‘s Ministry of Defense said Afghan forces killed eight militants in two separate battles Tuesday in Zabul and Wardak provinces.

End.


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