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Terrorist Attack Leaves 20 Dead, 13 Injured in Afghanistan

In the most recent eruption of insurgent activity in Afghanistan, a bomb detonated in a market in the province of Uruzgan, killing twenty civilians and injuring thirteen more. The attack took place around midday, when the marketplace was at its busiest. According to witnesses, a man strapped with explosives was spotted by a nearby security guard. As police moved to apprehend the suspect, he activated the trigger; the resulting explosion killed everyone around him. The Taliban, which is often behind such attacks, has yet to claim responsibility. Afghan President Hamid Karzai, in a statement denouncing the violence against civilians by various extremist organizations—and specifically the Taliban—declared that these groups are completely ignorant of the true tenets of Islam.

Yesterday, the United Nations issued findings indicating that 2009 saw more Afghan civilian casualties than any other year since the beginning of the war. Although the overwhelming majority of such deaths have been caused by terrorist attacks, a substantial minority can be attributed to Coalition activities. This has resulted in angry—and occasionally violent—demonstrations, protesters contend that the Taliban has been able to gain support for its campaign against the West and its allies by pointing to civilian deaths at the hands of Allied forces.

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