(CNN) - The use of powerful improvised explosive devices - IEDs - by militants in Afghanistan has caused a "dramatic" hike in "conflict-related civilian deaths" in the first half of the year, the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said in a report Thursday.
The war-weary nation "experienced a 15 per cent increase" mainly because of "the use of landmine-like pressure plate improvised explosive devices by anti-government elements," according to the UNAMA's Mid-year Report on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict. FULL POST
May was the deadliest month for civilians in Afghanistan since 2007. CNN's Nick Paton Walsh reports from Kabul.
A suicide bomber blew himself up Monday at an outdoor market in the eastern Afghanistan province of Laghman, killing four people and injuring 12, a spokesman for the provincial governor said.
The blast occurred at about noon in the village of Alishang, northeast of the capital city of Kabul, said spokesman Faizan Patan.
The bomber detonated an explosive device at the market, which was next to a local hotel, Patan said.
A suicide attack in an eastern Afghan province Wednesday killed 14 people and wounded 18 others, police said.
The suicide bomber targeted a police bus that was coming from a training academy, said Alisha Paktiawal, police chief of Nangarhar province. The dead included 10 police.
Militants often target security forces in Afghanistan. An explosion in April killed three police academy trainers in Nangarhar.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the attack in a statement and blamed it on terrorists intimidated by the growing strength of Afghan security forces.
Journalist Matiullah Mati contributed to this report.
Two NATO-led soldiers died in a friendly fire incident in southern Afghanistan, and a civilian was killed in an accident with a coalition convoy in the Afghan capital, NATO's International Security Assistance Force said.
An ISAF Joint Command incident assessment team is looking into the troop deaths, which occurred Wednesday. There were no details about what happened, and the precise location of the incident was not available.
ISAF said it plans to "determine the circumstances" of the friendly fire, the term for troops killing or injuring their allies or comrades.
In Kabul, the nation's capital, the civilian was killed and two others were injured when one of the three ISAF vehicles in the convoy "accidentally struck some civilians who were in the road," ISAF said.
"A nearby ISAF patrol provided a security cordon while first aid was administered." The injured were taken to a medical facility, the statement said, adding that no shots were fired by ISAF members.
The ISAF is the NATO-led mission helping the Afghan government in stabilizing the country and establishing security.
A suicide bombing targeting contractors working in eastern Afghanistan killed at least 13 people and wounded 50 others, according to conflicting accounts by NATO and government officials Monday.
The Afghan Interior Ministry described an attack that killed 20 construction workers and wounded 56 others.
The governor's office in Paktika Province had a third account of a suicide attack.
"Twenty-four people were killed and 59 people were injured while a car bomb full of explosive devices entered in to Zahir Construction Company and detonated the explosive at 8:30 p.m. last night," the governor's office said in a statement.Read the full story
Civilians were accidentally killed during a NATO airstrike in Afghanistan, the organization's International Security Assistance Force said in a statement Saturday.
The statement did not specify how many civilians were killed and wounded in the Friday operation in Helmand province, which aimed to kill or capture a senior Taliban commander.
The airstrike hit two vehicles "believed to be carrying the Taliban leader and his associates based on intelligence reporting," the statement said.
The force is investigating.
Earlier this month tensions flared over the issue of civilian casualties caused by the NATO forces fighting in Afghanistan after nine Afghan boys died in a helicopter attack targeting Taliban insurgents.Read the full story
The German news outlet Der Spiegel has published photographs of what appear to be two U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan posing over the bodies of dead Afghans - images which threaten to further complicate the American military effort there.
Two images show the soldiers kneeling by a bloody body sprawled over a patch of sand and grass. A third shows what appears to be two bodies propped up, back to back, against a post in front of a military vehicle.
Der Spiegel identifies the soldiers as Spc. Jeremy Morlock and Pfc. Andrew Holmes, who are both facing charges relating to the wrongful deaths of Afghan civilians. FULL POST
The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility Tuesday for a deadly attack in Punjab province.
At least 24 people - mostly civilians - were killed and 105 others were wounded when a bomb went off at a compressed natural gas station Tuesday, officials said.
Apologies are not sufficient when it comes to civilian casualties, Afghan President Hamid Karzai told the NATO commander Sunday, days after a NATO airstrike killed nine Afghan boys.
Karzai told Gen. David Petraeus, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, that incidents of civilian casualties during coalition military operations are the main reason for tensions in the U.S.-Afghan relationship and he demanded there be no more, according to a statement from Karzai's office