13 Civilians, 16 Afghan Security Forces Killed in Strikes Across Afghanistan

Civilians hit by a mine on way to wedding party in Herat

Taliban attacks across Afghanistan have killed at least 13 civilians and 16 security forces, both in roadside bombings and checkpoint offensives. Roadside bombings hit two groups of civilians in Herat, one of them traveling to a wedding. At least five were killed in each case.

In addition to the 10 Herat civilians, three more were killed in Laghman Province, where the bombing targeted a police vehicle. Seven other civilians were wounded in that case. No one claimed responsibility for the bombings, but Afghan government officials blamed the Taliban for them all.

Fighting was mostly centered around Baghlan Province, where Taliban fighters overran a number of checkpoints, and are contesting a district police HQ. At least 16 police and soldiers were killed, and 10 others wounded. The fighting is ongoing, and there is no news of Taliban casualties.

That’s just the new fighting, as Helmand Province fighting enters its fifth day, with both sides fighting over Lashkar Gah and the surrounding area. The highway through Helmand remains closed, and the Afghan Defense Ministry reported nine killed when two of their helicopters “crashed due to technical issues.

The Taliban had been making gains near Lashkar Gah, but failed to take the provincial capital. The Afghan government is now on the offensive in Helmand, trying to take the highway area.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.