Latest Afghan Violence Takes Toll on Women and Children

Posted June 26th, 2011 at 12:30 pm (UTC-5)
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Afghan officials say a hospital bombing and an attempted attack on a police outpost have killed mostly unsuspecting women and children.

On Sunday, Afghanistan's interior ministry accused insurgents of giving a bag of explosives to an eight-year-old girl and telling her to deliver it to the police.

Authorities said that as the little girl approached a police outpost in southern Uruzgan province on Saturday, the bag exploded, killing her.

Also Sunday, Afghan officials said the death toll from a suicide attack on a hospital in eastern Afghanistan has risen to 38, with most of the victims being women and children.

Another 50 people were wounded in the Saturday attack in Logar province's Azra district, near the border with Pakistan.

Authorities said a sports utility vehicle rammed into the hospital and blew up, devastating the building and burying people in the rubble.

The Taliban has denied responsibility for the attack. However, the insurgent group is active in the region and often carries out suicide attacks.

Separately, NATO said three of its service members were killed during operations in Afghanistan on Sunday.

The coalition said a roadside bomb killed two troops in western Afghanistan and a similar bomb killed another service member in southern Afghanistan.

Separately, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, in a U.S. television interview , welcomed U.S. plans to withdraw thousands of troops, calling the move a sign that Afghanistan is ready to start defending its own territory.

On Wednesday, U.S. President Barack Obama announced that 10,000 American troops will be withdrawn from Afghanistan by the end of the year. And a total of 33,000 U.S. forces will be withdrawn by September of 2012.

Some Afghans are concerned that gains made against the Taliban will be lost if foreign troops are withdrawn before Afghan forces are ready to take over security,