The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Breaking News

April 4, 2013

UN condemns Afghan attack that killed at least 46

(Continued)

KABUL, Afghanistan —

The U.N. said the Taliban and other insurgents were responsible for 81 percent of the civilian deaths and injuries last year, while 8 percent were attributed to pro-government forces. The remaining civilian deaths and injuries could not be attributed to either side.

The number of casualties blamed on U.S. and allied forces decreased by 46 percent, with 316 killed and 271 wounded last year. Most were killed in U.S. and NATO airstrikes, although that number, too, dropped by nearly half last year to 126, including 51 children.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in Farah, the capital of the province of the same name near the border with Iran.

The hospital in Farah was so overwhelmed with casualties that helicopters had to ferry some of the wounded to other hospitals in nearby areas.

Provincial Gov. Akram Akhpelwak said two more people had died from the attack, raising the death toll to 55 — 36 civilians, 10 Afghan security forces and nine attackers. More than 100 people also were wounded, he said.

One of the province's members of parliament, Humaira Ayobi, said one elderly man was found hiding in a bathroom, afraid to come out.

"Farah is a city of sadness," she said in a telephone call after attending a funeral for some of the victims. "The stores are closed. There's no traffic in the streets."

The attack began when two suicide bombers detonated an explosives-laden vehicle near the courthouse, shattering windows and devastating several buildings. Seven others jumped out of the pickup and ran toward the courthouse and attorney general's office, prompting an eight-hour gunbattle that left many buildings pockmarked from bullets and rocket-propelled grenades.

Ayobi said the attackers went from room to room shooting people, including nearly two dozen people who had taken refuge in a basement. She also said two judges were singled out to be killed in a separate room, and that their bodies were burned.

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