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Afghanistan

Attacks on Nato forces leave 11 civilians dead

Reuters

Nine civilians were killed Friday by a roadside bomb that blew up a minibus in Kandahar Province. The vehicle struck the bomb on Maywand district's main highway. Four women, three children and two men died. Eight others were wounded, five of whom are in critical condition.

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Meanwhile, two Nato soldiers and two civilians were killed in a separate bomb attack in Zabul province, in the south of the country. The bomb wounded at least 13 civilians at a market along the main highway.

Kandahar is the site of a monumental build-up by US-led military forces hoping to end the Taliban's violent insurgency, which began after the 2001 US invasion brought down the regime.

Nato's Afghanistan Commander General Stanley McChrystal acknowledged Thursday that the campaign to drive the Taliban out of the region was moving more slowly than expected.

McChrystal's comments was echoed by his deputy in the south, who cited difficulties including the shortage of Afghan security forces and scepticism among the Kandahar population.

Bombs known as improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are the favoured weapon of the insurgents fighting US-led Nato forces. They inflict casualties against foreign and Afghan troops by planting IEDs along the roadside.

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