Afghanistan

Afghan mayor, deputy killed in Taliban ambush

Afghan mayor, deputy killed in Taliban ambush

An Afghan mayor and his deputy have been assassinated by Taliban militants in the Garmsir District in the southern Afghan province of Helmand, Press TV reports.

The two were gunned down in a Taliban ambush on Thursday as they were heading for the provincial capital of Lashkargah, Omar Zawak, a spokesman for Helmand’s governor said.

Meanwhile, an explosive-geared motorcycle was detonated on the suburbs of Lashkargah. But the police said the attack did not inflict any casualties or damage on property.

The blast comes at a time when improvised explosive devices have become the number one killer in Afghanistan.

Bombs accounted for most of some 1,319 Afghan civilians killed in the first half of 2013, a new United Nations report has revealed.

Afghan military officials also say bombs are responsible for about 50 percent of the casualties among the country’s security forces.

Twelve years after the US-led invasion of Afghanistan, part of Washington’s so-called war on terror, the country remains grappling with rampant violence.

According to the UN, civilian deaths in Afghanistan jumped 16 percent in the first eight months of 2013, while in some eastern provinces there was a 54 percent hike in civilian casualties in the same period compared with last year.

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