Conflict & Justice

16 dead in drone strike as Taliban kill 4 troops in Afghanistan


Afghan policemen and villagers look on near a crater at the scene of suicide attack in Maidan Shar, the capital city of Wardak province south of Kabul, on Sept. 8, 2013. At least four Afghan intelligence agents were killed and dozens of civilians were wounded when a group of Taliban militants attacked an intel office there.



A drone strike in eastern Afghanistan's Kunar province killed up to 16 people, officials said Sunday, as the Taliban killed four Afghan troops and wounded more than 120 civilians near Kabul.

Saturday's NATO drone strike targeted four insurgents who were picked up along a road in Kunar's Watapur district by a truck with civilians in it.

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Women and children were among the dead, the New York Times reported.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the airstrike in a statement from the president's office, as he has many times before.

"Hamid Karzai considers attacking women and children against all accepted international norms and strongly condemns it," the statement said.

The Taliban attack occurred Sunday morning in Maidan Shahr, a city in eastern Wardak province just 25 miles from Kabul.

Militants detonated a car bomb outside an Afghan intelligence office, killing four Afghan troops and wounding more than 120 civilians struck by shards of glass and wood from the explosion.

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Five armed insurgents then tried to breach the building, the province's deputy police chief, Gen. Jamil Khan, told the Times, but were quickly killed.

Around 1,000 Afghan civilians have been killed and more than 2,000 wounded in the first half of this year — a huge portion of them in insurgent attacks — according to the United Nations.

That's a 24 percent increase over that time period last year, according to The Associated Press.