WASHINGTON, July 29, 2010 — Insurgents killed six Afghan civilians and wounded three more in roadside bomb attacks in southern Afghanistan yesterday, military officials reported.
Four civilians were killed and three others were wounded when a bomb detonated in Zabul province’s Mizan district. The wounded were airlifted to a military medical facility in Qalat.
In Nimroz province’s Khash Rod district, two Afghan civilians were killed when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb. Earlier yesterday, numerous civilians reportedly were killed when their bus struck a roadside bomb in the Khash Rod district, officials said.
International Security Assistance Force Joint Command officials said the United Nations recently reported that roadside bomb incidents increased by 94 percent in the first four months of 2010 compared to the same period last year.
In other news from Afghanistan, two civilians were killed yesterday when they were caught in crossfire between insurgents and coalition forces.
Coalition forces operating just outside Lashkar Gah in southern Afghanistan came under small-arms attack. ISAF forces gained positive identification of the enemy and returned the small-arms fire, officials said. Upon assessment of the site after the attack, ISAF forces found that a civilian man was killed in the crossfire.
Also in southern Afghanistan yesterday, another patrol of Afghan and coalition forces came under insurgent small-arms attack and returned fire with small arms and mortar rounds after identifying the attack’s point of origin.
After several fire fights from different locations, officials said, coalition forces received a report that a civilian girl had been killed in the fight. The ISAF forces were able to locate the compound and confirmed the death from apparent mortar shrapnel wounds.
ISAF officials expressed regret and stressed that they will continue to take all precautions they can to avoid civilian casualties.
Meanwhile, an ISAF task force found no basis for allegations in the media of Quran desecration in Uruzgan province’s Tarin Kot district. The task force examined all patrol activities for the past three days to determine whether there could have been any situations when an ISAF servicemember came across a Quran, officials said. No such situations were found.
The allegations claimed that the Quran was stabbed with a bayonet, but soldiers performing patrols in that area do not carry bayonets, the task force noted.
“ISAF understands the significance and importance of the Quran to the Muslim religion and the people of Afghanistan, and takes allegations of the desecration and disrespect of the Quran or any other religious or cultural items very seriously,” ISAF officials said in a written statement reporting the task force’s findings.
Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases