Coordinated Taliban attacks rock Kabul, eastern Afghanistan ahead of US pullout

A series of coordinated attacks on civilian and military targets in central and eastern Afghanistan on Tuesday left 10 people dead and dozens wounded, including at least three coalition troops.

The deadliest attack occurred west of Kabul, where Taliban fighters set off a roadside bomb that hit a bus full of Afghan civilians. At least nine people were killed and five wounded in the attack, according to recent news reports. 

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In eastern Afghanistan, a suspected Taliban suicide bomber detonated a truck laden with explosives at a NATO base in Pul-i-Alam in Logar province. 

While the bomber was unable to breach the base's outer perimeter, the explosion wounded 13 people, including two Americans, according to recent reports.  

U.S. and coalition forces are gearing up to take out Taliban strongholds along Afghanistan's eastern border with Pakistan this spring, Gen. John Allen, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, said earlier this year. 

In the third attack, NATO forces engaged Taliban fighters in Kapisa province in northeast Afghanistan, where a French soldier was killed during the firefight. 

Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the attacks, saying the strikes will only turn public opinion further against Taliban forces because they took place during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. 

Tuesday's violence comes as U.S. forces are preparing to pull the first tranche of American troops out of the country within the coming weeks. 

The administration's road map for U.S. draw-downs in Afghanistan has 32,000 American soldiers coming home this summer. The remaining 68,000 are expected to be stateside by the end of 2014. 

Afghan forces are expected to have compete control of all combat operations in country by 2013, according to a postwar deal struck between President Obama and Karzai in May. 


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