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Roadside Bomb Kills 11, Including 5 Children in Afghanistan

By VOA News
17 July 2009

An Afghan police official said a roadside bomb in southeastern Afghanistan killed 11 civilians, including five children, as they were traveling to a shrine on Friday.

Police General Saifullah Hakim said the group of men, women and children, were traveling in Kandahar province near the Pakistan border when the bomb ripped through their van.

The bombing took place in Spin Boldak district, a major crossing point between Afghanistan and Pakistan. He said three women were wounded in the blast.

Hakim blamed Taliban militants for the attack.

Elsewhere, the British military said a British soldier was killed in an explosion in southern Afghanistan Thursday.

The Ministry of Defense said the soldier was on foot patrol near Gereshk in Helmand province when he was killed.

July has become the deadliest month for international forces in the eight-year war in Afghanistan, with 48 troops killed.

Britain has about 9,000 troops in Afghanistan to help coalition forces maintain security ahead of presidential elections in August.

Friday, the head of Britain's army called for more troops and equipment in Afghanistan.

General Richard Dannatt told BBC Radio that British troop levels should not be cut back after Afghanistan's election in August. He and Britain's Chief of Defense Staff Jock Stirrup also said more helicopters were needed as forces battle a growing Taliban insurgency.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.




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