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More than 240 killed in Afghan conflicts in July

Aug. 1 2014

The Taliban-led attacks and conflicts claimed more than 240 lives while leaving over 200 others injured in July, a little lower when compared with nearly 290 and 300 for June, respectively. 

The bloodiest attack occurred on July 15 when a suicide truck bombing targeted bazaar of Urgun district of eastern Pakitka province, killing 80 people and injuring nearly 70 others. 

On July 8, about 10 school children and five Czech soldiers of the NATO-led coalition or International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) were killed when a Taliban suicide car bombing targeted an ISAF convoy distributing stationery to children near a health clinic in Bagram district of eastern Parwan province. The blast also injured six children. 

The Taliban insurgent group has intensified attacks after mid- May when the insurgents launched a yearly rebel offensive against security forces. Eight Afghan air forces personnel were killed and 13 others wounded when a suicide bombing targeted their bus in the national capital of Kabul on July 2. 

The war-torn country is due to take over the responsibility for its own security from foreign troops by the end of the year. 

Nearly 50,000 NATO-led coalition troops, down from the peak of 130,000 in 2010, are stationed in Afghanistan, and the United States plans to trim its forces to less than 10,000 next year. 

At least seven targeted killings took place in a number of provinces last month, claiming the lives of several government officials, security forces and local leaders. 

In one attack, Hashmat Khalil Karzai, a member of provincial council in southern Kandahar province and cousin of outgoing Afghan President Hamid Karzai, was killed in a suicide attack in his house in Kharz village of Kandahar. 

The attacker, who disguised himself as a visitor detonated explosive placed in his turban while greeting Karzai during Eid-ul- Fitar three-day festival on July 29. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack. One person was also wounded in the blast. 

On July 25, two Finnish female aid workers were killed in a drive-by shooting in western Herat province. The motive behind the attack remained unknown. 

The locals said the attackers were members of Islamic militants who carried out the attack in retaliation of the Israeli attacks on Gaza Strip. However, no group or individuals have claimed the responsibility for the killing. On July 25, 16 civilians were shot dead by the militants in western Ghor province. The victims were from minority Shiite community. 

More than 1,560 civilians were killed and nearly 3,290 others wounded in conflicts and Taliban-led attacks in the first six months of 2014, according to figures released by UN mission in the country on July 9. 

Ground combat among parties in the armed conflict surpassed improvised explosive devices (IEDs) as the leading cause of conflict-related death and injury to Afghan civilians in the first six months of 2014. 

Meanwhile, total child casualties increased 34 percent in the first six months of 2014 to 1,071, including 295 killed and 776 injured, while total woman casualties increased by 24 percent to 440, including 148 killed and 292 injured, according to UN report. 

On July 22, four foreign security guards were killed in a suicide attack near Kabul airport while five sticky bomb attacks targeted army and police vehicles in Kabul during the month, killing two and injuring several security forces. 

On July 17, six suicide bombers were killed after they seized an unfinished five-story building near the Kabul airport and targeted the military section of the airport with rocket launchers. One suicide car bombing was also involved in the attack but the militants failed to inflict casualties on security forces or cause damages to the airport facilities. Most of the foreign forces are due to withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of the year. 

The exact number of casualties on the Afghan army and police last month remained unknown. In addition to five Czech soldier died in Parwan's suicide attack, three U.S. soldiers and an Australian soldier were also killed in Afghanistan in July.