Violence highest since invasion

KABUL, Afghanistan — Violence in Afghanistan has spiked to its highest level since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion, with an Associated Press count of insurgency-related deaths this year surpassing the 5,000 mark.

As well, a UN report concluded that attacks have risen by 20%.

A suicide attack yesterday on a police bus in western Kabul killed 13 officers and civilians, including a woman and her two children who boarded the vehicle seconds before the explosion, the health minister said.

It was the second bomb to rip the roof off a bus in the Afghan capital in four days, as insurgents turned up attacks against Afghanistan’s security forces during a year of record violence.

A new UN report found that while 76% of all suicide bombings in the country have targeted international and Afghan security forces, 143 civilians were killed by those bombs through August. The report, released in New York last week, also found that Afghanistan has averaged 550 violent incidents per month this year, up from 425 last year.

An AP count of insurgency-related deaths, meanwhile, reached 5,086: the most deaths in Afghanistan since the U.S.-led invasion to topple the Taliban.

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