Afghan violence kills 14 militants, 8 civilians

A052333112.jpgKABUL (Reuters) – Afghan and international troops killed 14 Taliban militants and eight civilians were killed in a series of attacks, provincial authorities and the U.S. military said Monday.

Violence has surged in Afghanistan with some 3,800 people — a third of them civilians — killed by the end of July this year, the United Nations said.

Already more foreign troops have been killed so far this year than in any year since U.S.-led and Afghan forces toppled the Taliban in 2001 for refusing to hand over al Qaeda leaders behind the September 11 attacks on the United States.

Six civilians were killed and two more wounded when their minibus hit a roadside bomb in Zana Khan district of Ghazni province Monday, a local official said.

“The roadside bomb was planted by insurgents who were targeting a foreign or Afghan military convoy using this road,” said the governor’s spokesman, Sayed Ismail Jahangir.

Separately, two civilians were killed and three injured when a rocket landed on their home in Khost Sunday, the provincial police chief said.

“The rocket was aimed at a nearby foreign troop base,” Abdul Qayum Batizoy said.

In another incident, U.S.-led coalition and Afghan troops killed five militants in an operation targeting a foreign fighters’ network in Ghazni province, about 200 km (125) miles southwest of Kabul Monday, a U.S. military statement said.

Another nine Taliban insurgents were killed during a joint operation by Afghan and international troops in Ghazni’s Waghaz district Sunday, said provincial police chief Mohammad Zaman.

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