Recent bombings cap deadly August in Afghanistan

Taliban fighters reportedly lobbed three grenades into the mosque in Khost Province during Wednesday morning prayers, according to the The Associated Press. Nine Afghans were wounded in the attack. 


Many of the worshippers who were injured in the Khost mosque bombing were working for American and NATO forces stationed at nearby U.S. Forward Operating Base Salerno, according to reports. 

A Taliban spokesman issued a statement claiming it had launched an attack against Salerno on Wednesday, but he made no specific mention of the mosque bombing. 

NATO spokesperson Lt. Col. Hagen Messer confirmed to the AP that the U.S. base had not been attacked, but U.S. and coalition personnel did report hearing gunfire at the nearby mosque. 

Another 15 Afghan nationals, including and Afghan police officer, were seriously wounded when explosives concealed inside a bicycle were detonated in the middle of a market in the city of Herat, located near the country's western border with Iran. 

A day earlier, a flood of Taliban suicide bombers and gunmen stormed multiple targets across Afghanistan, leaving 43 Afghan nationals dead and scores wounded. 

In Nimruz Province in southwestern Afghanistan, 29 people were killed and over 50 seriously wounded when suicide bombers struck the shopping district in the provincial capitol of Zaranj on Tuesday, according to The New York Times. 

Taliban bombers hit the shopping district just as Afghans were preparing to celebrate the end of the holy month of Ramadan. 

Another 10 civilians were killed in Kunduz Province in northern Afghanistan on Tuesday, when bomb hidden inside a motorcycle blew up in a town square as Afghan residents were gathering together after evening prayers, the Times reported. 

That same day, a district governor and three policemen were killed in Badakhshan Province, in northeast Afghanistan, after Taliban gunmen ambushed the governor's convoy. 

Over the past week, nine American soldiers have also died at the hands of Afghan troops across southern and eastern Afghanistan. 

The recent attacks were likely part of the "Al-Farooq" operation, which is what Taliban leaders have dubbed their ongoing spring offensive against American and coalition forces. 

The offensive is focused on attacking the "foreign invaders, their advisors, their contractors and members of all associated military, intelligence and auxiliary departments" not just in eastern Afghanistan, but all across the country, according to the group's website. 

For their part, U.S. and coalition commanders are focusing their spring offensive strategy of flushing out insurgents along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. 

Roughly 32,000 U.S. Marines are set to withdraw from Afghanistan in the coming weeks. The White House plans to have all security operations handed to Afghan security and pull out all American forces in the country by 2014.