Deadly back and forth violence between NATO troops and the insurgency continues apace in Afghanistan today, and as usual the civilian population is bearing the brunt of the attacks, with two bombings in the Helmand Province killing two NATO soldiers, but also killing at least 23 civilians.
The larger of the two blasts came in the Nahri Sarraj District, where a mine planted in the road was hit by a passenger minibus, killing all 18 passengers aboard. Another bomb was hit by a tractor in Garmser District.
The attacks add yet more civilian deaths to an extremely bloody July, which seems to have answered the record civilian toll of the first six months of 2011 by getting dramatically worse in the face of both NATO and Taliban attacks.
The attacks come just a day after coordinated bombings in the Uruzgan Province killed at least 22 people. Officials have insisted that Uruzgan in particular is making “progress,” but deadly attacks remain a part of daily life nationwide.