Dozens killed by multiple Taliban attacks in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan, Dec. 13 (UPI) — A surge of Taliban attacks across Afghanistan’s capital and Helmand province has resulted in dozens of deaths, including two U.S. troops and a top figure in the nation’s supreme court.

The latest incident came Saturday when 12 mine-clearing workers were killed at a base in the Nad Ali district in Helmand province. A military commander at the camp {link:told Al Jazeera: “http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia/2014/12/series-attacks-kill-many-afghanistan-20141213125710142194.html”,nw} that six workers were also wounded in the Taliban assault.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani denounced the attack as the work of the country’s enemies.

Around the same time a suicide bomber detonated near a bus in Kabul, causing it to burst into flames, killing seven Afghan soldiers.

Earlier the same day, the head of the secretariat of Afghanistan’s Supreme Court, Atiqullah Rawoofi, was shot to death by two gunmen on a motorbike as he walked to his vehicle from his home in northwestern Kabul. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

On Friday, two NATO troops were killed when their convoy was attacked near Bagram air base, north of Kabul. NATO’s International Security Assistance Force {link:released a statement: “http://www.isaf.nato.int/article/casualty-report/isaf-casualties-december-12-2014.html”,nw} saying two “service members died as a result of an enemy forces attack in eastern Afghanistan on Dec. 12, 2014,” but declined to identify nationalities. {link:The BBC reports: “http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-30461971″,nw} the two were U.S. service members.

The weekend attacks follow an incident on Thursday when {link:six Afghan soldiers riding a bus were killed: “http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2014/12/11/Suicide-bomb-kills-six-Afghan-soldiers/5151418279842/?spt=sec&or=tn”,nw} after a pedestrian suicide bomber blew up next the vehicle.

As foreign forces prepare to withdraw from the country in the next three weeks, {link:attacks by Taliban forces: “http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2014/11/29/Taliban-attack-foreign-guesthouse-Afghan-military-base-in-latest-string-of-attacks/9551417298823/”,nw} have increased.

Of the 65 international troops killed in Afghanistan since the beginning of 2014, 50 were from the United States.

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