Insurgents kill 10 at Afghan construction camp

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 17 August, 2013, 5:34pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 17 August, 2013, 5:52pm

Insurgents killed 10 people at a construction camp in Afghanistan’s western Herat province on Saturday, while five members of a family died in a separate roadside bomb explosion in the south, officials said.

Deputy Public Works Minister Ahmad Shah Wahid said nine construction workers and a policeman were killed when insurgents attacked a construction camp just after midnight in Herat’s Karukh district with rocket propelled grenades and automatic weapons.

The workers were involved in a 52-kilometre road construction project being managed by the public works ministry and funded by Germany, Wahid said. The road runs from Herat’s Karukh district to Qala-i Now, the capital of neighbouring Badghis province.

Such projects are frequently targeted by insurgents. Violence has increased in recent months as insurgents fight to regain territory and foreign forces withdraw. They are also trying to take advantage of the handover of the country’s security from the Nato-led coalition to Afghan forces ahead of the withdrawal of all foreign combat forces at the end of next year.

In another deadly incident Saturday, five members of a family were killed by a roadside bomb in the Marjah district of southern Helmand province when their mini-van struck a roadside bomb. They included three children, a woman and a man, the statement said.

The statement added that another roadside bomb late Friday killed three women in Helmand’s Sangin district.

Civilian casualties have spiked this spring and summer because of the increased violence. The United Nations said in its mid-year report that casualties were up 23 per cent compared to the first six months of last year. The overwhelming majority were caused by roadside bombs, it said.