Afghanistan war: US troops, Afghan politician targeted in deadly weekend
Seven US soldiers were killed amid rising violence in the Afghanistan war, as well as a parliamentary candidate and five campaign workers. President Karzai's chief of staff also said the US must alter its strategy to defeat the Taliban.
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Seven US soldiers were killed Saturday and Sunday in Afghanistan, in a violent weekend that deepened concerns about security ahead of September elections. A senior Afghan official also raised fresh questions about US strategy in defeating the insurgency.
Over the weekend, a candidate for parliament was killed by insurgents and the bodies of five campaign workers for a female parliamentary candidate were found. About eight civilians also died.
Violence has risen as more US troops arrive in Afghanistan, bringing the number to about 100,000. The troop increase is part of an attempt to bring the Taliban insurgency under control before July 2011, when President Obama has pledged US troops will begin to withdraw. NATO troops are also attempting to bring about stability before parliamentary elections are held on Sept. 18.
The Associated Press reports that two US soldiers were killed in bombings Sunday in southern Afghanistan, where NATO troops are waging a fierce campaign for control of the Taliban’s stronghold. Two more soldiers were killed in a separate bomb attack in southern Afghanistan, and three were killed in fighting in eastern regions.
Forty-two US soldiers have now died in Afghanistan this month.
Insurgents have targeted candidates and campaigners ahead of elections in Afghanistan, and on Saturday a man on a motorcycle shot and killed parliamentary candidate Abdul Manan in Herat. Agence France-Presse reports that officials blamed the Taliban, who they say have killed two other candidates since July.
On Sunday, Herat residents discovered the bodies of the five workers for parliamentary candidate Fawzya Galani, one of Afghanistan’s few female candidates. The campaign workers were kidnapped Wednesday while traveling in the countryside, according to the Associated Press.