07/09/2009, 00.00
AFGHANISTAN
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Afghanistan, attack in Logar: 25 victims, mostly students

Local sources speak of a truck-bomb detonated near a police check point, near a school. G8 leaders confirm their intention to "promote development and security" in the country. They are asking the Afghan government "to ensure credible elections" for the presidential August 20.

Kabul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The death toll, still provisional, from an attack this morning in central Afghanistan is of 25 people - 21 civilians and four policemen. The explosion took place in Mohammad Agha district, Logar province, 30 km south of Kabul. The area is one of the main Taliban strongholds in the country.

The dynamics of the attack are still unclear. Some sources report that a truck bomb exploded near a police check point. Nearby there is also a school, according to initial information, twelve of the victims are students. A television in Kabul reports a suicide bomber, but there is no official confirmation.

In early July, the U.S. security forces launched the "Our sword" offensive in the south of Afghanistan. It is described as "the largest airborne operation of the Marines" since Vietnam. The goal of the offensive is the valley of the River Helmand, a Taliban stronghold, rich cereal crops and the country’s main opium production centre. The U.S. military intends to remove extremist positions, and consolidate the area with defence centres.

Yesterday, meanwhile, during the G8 summit being held in L'Aquila, in central Italy, world leaders declared that "Pakistan and Afghanistan remain a priority", reaffirming the will to "promote stability and development in the two countries". Economic growth and combating terrorism are the objectives set by the Summit.

The Heads of State of most industrialized countries have also asked the Afghan government "to ensure credible inclusive and safe elections" that reflect "the real will of the people" by providing financial assistance and security. The presidential elections in Afghanistan will be held next August 20.
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