Attacks across Afghanistan kill 24

Updated 20 April 2013
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Attacks across Afghanistan kill 24

KABUL: Roadside bombs and insurgent attacks killed at least 24 people in five separate attacks across Afghanistan as violence steadily rises during this year’s spring fighting season, officials said Wednesday.
So far, April has been the deadliest month this year for Afghan and foreign civilians and security forces. According to an Associated Press tally, 182 people have been killed in violence around the nation this month.
In western Afghanistan, seven women and children died when their truck hit a roadside bomb near Shindad in Herat province, said Muhiudin Noori, a spokesman for the governor.
In the east, another roadside bomb killed five men who were part of a government security force guarding a convoy of trucks in Ghazni’s Qarabagh district, provincial spokesman Fazel Ahmad Sabaoon said.
Also in the east, insurgents attacked a checkpoint in Laghman province, killing four village policemen, provincial spokesman Sarhadi Zawak said.
In northern Jowzjan province, police chief Aziz Ghayrat said insurgents opened fire on elders in a village and two health workers were killed in the crossfire.
Also on Wednesday, six Afghan soldiers — two officers and four enlisted men — were found shot to death on a main highway that crosses Jowzjan, police spokesman Abdul Mannan Raoufi said. He said the six had just left their military unit and were headed home for a break to visit their families. He blamed the attack, which he said occurred on Tuesday, on Taleban insurgents.
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AP writers Rahim Faiez and Patrick Quinn contributed.


UN chief to meet with US secretary of state

Updated 11 min 53 sec ago
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UN chief to meet with US secretary of state

UNITED NATIONS: The UN says Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is expected to meet with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to discuss “issues of mutual concern” that will likely include the Middle East peace process and North Korea.
UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq says the meeting is scheduled for Saturday in Washington, where Guterres also plans to attend a Portuguese-American event.
The US State Department didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
The meeting comes as Guterres urges the US to rethink plans announced this week to withdraw from the UN Human Rights Council. Washington calls the council biased against Israel.
Meanwhile, a UN General Assembly committee is meeting Monday about financing the UN agency for Palestinian refugees after a US decision to withhold aid. The US had been the largest donor.