KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Insurgents staged a pre-dawn ambush on a construction camp in Afghanistan’s western Herat province on Saturday, killing 10 people in one of several deadly attacks across the country overnight and in the morning.
Nine construction workers and a policeman were killed when insurgents attacked the camp in Herat’s Karukh district with rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons, Deputy Public Works Minister Ahmad Shah Wahid said.
The workers were involved in a 52-kilometer (32-mile) road construction project run by an Afghan-German company and managed by the public works ministry, Wahid said. The road runs from Herat’s Karukh district to Qala-i Now, the capital of neighboring Badghis province.
Development projects, most of which receive foreign funding, are frequently targeted by insurgents.
In another deadly incident Saturday, five members of a family were killed in the Marjah district of southern Helmand province when their mini-van struck a roadside bomb. They included three children, a woman and a man, a statement from the provincial governor’s office said.
The statement added that another roadside bomb late Friday killed three women in Helmand’s Sangin district.
In Farah province in the west, a suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest inside a private medical clinic, killing three people including a local police commander, a provincial government spokesman said.
Abdul Rahman Zhawandai said the attacks in the Bala Buluik district appeared to be targeting a former provincial police chief, who escaped unhurt.
Violence has increased in recent months as insurgents fight to regain territory and foreign forces withdraw. They are also trying to take advantage of the handover of the country’s security from the NATO-led coalition to Afghan forces ahead of the withdrawal of all foreign combat forces at the end of 2014.
Civilian casualties have spiked this spring and summer. The United Nations said in its mid-year report that casualties were up 23 percent compared to the first six months of 2012. The overwhelming majority were caused by roadside bombs, it said.