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Kabul blames NATO in civilian deaths

| Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, 9:36 p.m.

KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghan officials accused NATO of killing civilians in an airstrike that left at least 10 dead in the country's remote east, while the Taliban on Sunday staged a car bomb and gun attack outside an Afghan intelligence office, killing four soldiers and wounding more than 80 people.

Meanwhile, the Afghan government reacted angrily to a comment by an American envoy who said Afghanistan is experiencing “a civil war.”

The airstrike and Taliban attack underscored the chronic insecurity in Afghanistan as U.S.-led foreign forces reduce their presence and hand over more responsibilities to Afghan troops. The car bombing occurred in Maidan Shahr, a city in eastern Wardak province just 25 miles from Kabul.

Attaullah Khogyani, a spokesman for the provincial governor, said the explosion occurred about 1 p.m. and that many of the wounded were Afghan government employees working in nearby offices. Soldiers guarding the compound managed to kill the militants after the explosion, he said. He said four soldiers and five attackers died, in addition to the car bomber.

Hazrat Janan, a member of the Wardak provincial council, said the explosion wounded more than 80 people and was powerful enough to shatter windows across a wide stretch of the city.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack.

Meanwhile, conflicting reports emerged about the airstrike in the Watapur district of Kunar, a province that lies along the border with Pakistan. The territory is dangerous and difficult to reach. Many Arab and other foreign insurgents are believed to operate there.

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