Explosions kill 7 Afghan civilians, 4 NATO soldiers
Two roadside bombs killed seven civilians in southern Afghanistan while four NATO soldiers died in similar attacks elsewhere in the country, officials said Monday, dpa reported
Six civilians, including a woman, were killed Sunday when their vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb in the Naw Bahar district of Zabul province, the Interior Ministry said.
Another civilian was killed and five injured in a similar attack in Zabul's Shinkay district, also Sunday, the statement said.
No group took responsibility for the attacks, which bore the hallmark of Taliban militants. The insurgents rely heavily on roadside bombs and suicide attacks in their nearly nine-year war against Afghan and foreign troops.
Meanwhile, three soldiers with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) were killed in two separate roadside bomb attacks in eastern and western Afghanistan, the military said in statements.
One more NATO soldier was killed Sunday by a roadside bomb in the southern region, the ISAF said in a separate statement.
The military alliance did not reveal the nationalities of the soldiers, citing ISAF policy that does not identify dead soldiers prior to relevant authorities doing so.
The deaths, the ninth so far this month for the ISAF, came after June's death toll of 100 foreign troops became the highest monthly total since the Taliban were ousted in a US-led invasion in late 2001.
The attacks on foreign military took place as US General David Petraeus formally assumed command of the 150,000 US and ISAF soldiers in Afghanistan Sunday.
During an official ceremony at ISAF headquarters in Kabul, Petraeus vowed victory over the Taliban militants.
"We are engaged in a tough fight," he said. "After years of war, we have arrived at a critical moment."
The four-star general took over from General Stanley McChrystal, who was dismissed by US President Barack Obama for disparaging remarks about the White House's leadership of the mission in Afghanistan.
In another development, a woman was injured Monday in the western province of Herat by a suicide bomber in its capital, also named Herat, the Interior Ministry said.
The target of Monday's bomber was not known. Police said they suspected that the explosives could have been prematurely detonated.