German Defense Minister Visits Afghanistan

Posted November 12th, 2012 at 2:55 pm (UTC-5)
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German Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere arrived in Afghanistan Monday to review the coalition's ongoing transfer of security control to the Afghan forces.

De Maiziere's trip comes a day after a gunman wearing an Afghan army uniform killed a British soldier in southern Helmand province.

It was the latest in a series of so-called “insider attacks” that have fractured the trust between NATO forces and their Afghan allies as the coalition seeks to leave the country by the end of 2014.

Separately, Afghan officials said explosions killed 11 civilians Sunday in the eastern and southern parts of the country. A roadside bomb blast killed six members of a family, including a mother and her hours-old baby.

Police said the family was heading home from the hospital where the mother had given birth when their truck hit the bomb in eastern Khost province.

Also Sunday, three people were killed in southern Helmand province when their vehicle detonated a land mine.

There has been no claim of responsibility for the blasts. However, roadside bombs are the weapons of choice for Taliban insurgents fighting to bring down the Western-backed government in Kabul. The bombs often miss their military targets and kill or injure civilians who use the same roads.