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Deadly violence rages across Afghanistan

Associated Press Modified: July 9, 2012 at 2:30 pm •  Published: July 9, 2012
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KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An insurgent bomb killed six American soldiers in eastern Afghanistan, part of a surge of violence that has dealt a stark reminder that war is still raging as NATO plots an exit strategy for the end of 2014.

Violence raged across the country Monday, including grisly attacks by multiple suicide bombers, a day after donor nations meeting in Tokyo to pledge $16 billion in aid.

President Hamid Karzai and his top ministers said the pledges exceeded their expectations and sent a strong signal that the international community will not abandon Afghanistan even though foreign troops have started to leave.

It also sent a message to Karzai's adversaries in the Taliban and elsewhere, who are hoping his support will weaken once the foreign combat troops leave or move into support roles in 2 1/2 years.

Sunday was a particularly deadly day in Afghanistan. Roadside bombs and militant attacks killed seven American soldiers, 19 Afghan civilians and seven Afghan policemen.

Violence erupted again on Monday as militants launched suicide attacks on two police headquarters and carried out other assaults that left 20 people dead — three policemen, an Afghan prosecutor, two children and 14 attackers, according to officials. At least 60 other people were wounded.

German Brig. Gen. Gunter Katz, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition, said the six Americans were killed Sunday when their armored vehicle struck a bomb in eastern Afghanistan. He said a seventh American soldier was killed in a separate insurgent attack Sunday in the south.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for that attack in Wardak province, just south of Kabul. Coalition and Afghan forces are trying to secure areas of Wardak that insurgents use as gateway into the Afghan capital, where they have staged high-profile attacks on Afghan government and NATO targets.

Monday's violence began when gunmen assassinated a chief prosecutor in eastern Ghazni province as he drove to work. Mohammad Ali Ahmadi, the deputy provincial governor, said Sahar Gul was shot twice.

Later in the day, three suicide bombers riding in a three-wheeled vehicle blew themselves up in Kandahar city, said Kandahar provincial spokesman Ahmad Jawed Faisal.

Then nearly a dozen other suicide attackers tried to storm the police headquarters in Kandahar, but they failed to enter the compound, Faisal said. The incident was still being investigated, but Faisal said authorities suspect that the three attackers in the vehicle, a form of miniature pickup known as a Zaranj, were headed toward police headquarters when their explosives detonated prematurely.

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