A suicide bomber targeted a NATO patrol in a marketplace filled with children in Afghanistan’s Uruzgan province July 10, killing 13 elementary-school students and at least four other people. Eight Dutch soldiers and at least 35 Afghans were wounded. The Taliban claimed responsibility. (Seattle Times, July 11) Meanwhile, three Afghan police officers and a civilian truck driver were killed when Taliban guerillas attacked the police vehicle with machine-gun fire in Paktia province. (News24, South Africa, July 11)
Calling militant attacks “cowardly work,” Afghan President Hamid Karzai called a press conference to deplore the Uruzgan bombing, and accused militants of disguising themselves in women’s clothing. “Whenever there is pressure on them they escape under a woman’s burqa,” said Karzai. “I pray to God that Afghanistan is soon freed from all this suffering,” he stated, noting that mass battles between Western troops and Taliban militants were down this year, but suicide and roadside bombings are up. (AP, July 11)
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