Afghan official: Insurgents kill 4 civilians

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Associated Press

Posted on August 1, 2012 at 8:31 AM

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Insurgents pulled four Afghan civilians off a minibus travelling in the east of the country, shot them and left their bodies on the side of the road, the government said Wednesday.

Villagers reported Tuesday's shooting in Jalrez district to officials who then recovered the bodies, said Wardak provincial government spokesman Shahidullah Shahid. It was the second such shooting in the district in two weeks. Last week, four Afghan security guards were pulled out of a vehicle and executed in the same way.

Civilians have borne the brunt of the violence from the long-running Afghan conflict.

According to the United Nations, last year was the deadliest on record for civilians in the Afghan war, with 3,021 killed. The number of civilian deaths dropped 36 percent in the first four months of this year compared with last year, but the U.N. says much of that is probably tied to a particularly severe winter that decreased fighting overall.

Also Wednesday, a bomb blast killed a NATO service member in southern Afghanistan, the international military coalition said in a statement. NATO did not provide the nationality of the dead nor any other details on the attack.

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