As if to underscore the precarious security situation here, there was a flurry of insurgent attacks in Afghanistan not long after Clinton spoke.
Around 10:30 a.m. Saturday an improvised explosive device, or homemade bomb, killed seven people in the Chora district of the restive southern province of Uruzgan. All the victims were adult men, said Farid Hayel, the spokesman for Uruzgan’s police chief.
Also Saturday morning, one civilian was killed and 28 wounded when a bomb exploded and rockets were fired in Farah city, the capital of the remote western province of Farah, said the province’s head of security, Mohammad Ghaus Malyar. He said the wounded included 12 children.
He said four rockets landed near the Farah governor’s compound – the target of the attack – but only three exploded. Security forces had also found and defused a second bomb in the city, Malyar said.
“These attacks were committed by the Taliban in response to an operation in this province that was conducted recently by Afghan and foreign forces. They achieved nothing other than demonstrating their presence here,” he said.
U.S. Marine General John R. Allen, the commander of the International Security Assistance Force, as the coalition is formally known, condemned the killing and wounding of civilians in Farah.
“Once again I call upon (Taliban leader) Mullah Omar to end these brutal attacks. If he really is in control of these elements of the Taliban, this should be possible,” Allen said.
A statement Saturday from the coalition said that one of its service members had died following an improvised explosive device attack in southern Afghanistan. ISAF did not confirm the nationality of the dead service member or provide other details about the incident.