Afghan Energy Minister Survives Deadly Explosion
By VOA News
27 September 2009
Afghan police say the country's energy minister has survived an explosion that killed four people in the western city of Herat.
The Taliban say they carried out the car bombing targeting Minister Ismail Khan Sunday.
Authorities say the explosion wounded at least 17 civilians who were passing on the main road to the Herat airport.
Also Sunday, the NATO-led force said three of its troops, including two Americans, died in insurgent attacks in southern Afghanistan in the past two days.
Meanwhile, the French president's office says three French soldiers died accidentally when a violent storm hit their unit during a night operation in a valley in northeastern Afghanistan.
United Nations Chief Ban Ki-moon said Saturday that 1,500 civilians were killed in Afghanistan between January and August of this year.
August was the deadliest month for civilians, partly because of attacks related to the presidential election.
In a quarterly report, Mr. Ban warned that more violence could break out when the election results are announced.
Mr. Ban said alleged irregularities in the voting process have generated "significant political turbulence" that could lead to more violence.
Preliminary results show Afghan President Hamid Karzai with 54 percent of the vote. But if a U.N. monitoring group declares a large number of ballots invalid, he could end up with less than 50 percent and face another round of voting.
Some information for this report was provided by AP.
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