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Afghan Bloodbath
Another Massacre of Civilians

From the BBC: “An incident described by US forces in Afghanistan as a "complex ambush" has left 16 civilians dead. The incident occurred on the road from the eastern city of Jalalabad to Pakistan when a suicide bomber targeted a convoy, sparking a fire fight. The killing of the civilians has reportedly sparked a protest by thousands of local people. Separately, Nato said two British soldiers had been killed in fighting in southern Afghanistan. The US military said a minibus containing explosives was driven at the convoy, injuring one soldier. US troops were then attacked from several directions and returned fire in defence of the patrol. The BBC's Alastair Leithead in Kabul says local people reported that the US forces had fired on civilians in the aftermath of the bomb attack. Thousands of people gathered to demonstrate, protesting at the large number of civilian deaths and blaming the US patrol for shooting passers-by. Our correspondent says there has been a huge increase in the number of suicide attacks over the past 12 months, but a coordinated ambush is relatively rare. He says there have also been other demonstrations in the same province, Nangarhar, recently, mainly at opium poppy eradication by government officials. The two British servicemen killed in southern Afghanistan died in the Sangin area of Helmand province on Saturday. Their next of kin have been informed. Twenty foreign soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan so far this year. Nato fears that Taleban violence will escalate in several areas of Afghanistan as the winter snows thaw. Nato commanders have said they need more soldiers to tackle the expected spring offensive. Last Tuesday at least nine people were killed in a suicide bombing at the main US base in Afghanistan, Bagram near Kabul, during a visit by US Vice-President Dick Cheney.”

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