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Insurgent Rocket Attacks Kill at Least 7 Afghan Children


A rocket attack killed at least seven children and wounded more than 30 other people at a school in eastern Afghanistan. Authorities in Kunar Province say the attack was the work of pro-Taleban militants.

Authorities say the attack took place in Asadabad, the capital of the eastern Afghan province that borders Pakistan. About 200 children were said to be studying in the open when the rocket hit the school, located near a U.S-led coalition base.

Taleban insurgents have in the past attacked and burned down schools as part of their efforts to destabilize the Afghan government, but it was not clear if the school hit Tuesday was the intended target. No one has claimed responsibility, but local authorities accused the Taleban of carrying out the attack.

The U.S.-led military collation has condemned the killing of children as a despicable act, and vowed to hunt down the "terrorists" to bring them to justice. But coalition spokesman, Lieutenant Mike Cody, said insurgent attacks on civilians are nothing new.

"The enemies of Afghanistan frequently target innocent civilians in their attacks," he said. "This despicable act clearly demonstrates the enemy's complete disregard for the Afghan people."

The spokesman says wounded children and teachers were taken to a nearby hospital run by the U.S military.

Kunar is one of Afghanistan's most violent provinces. Insurgent attacks have killed at least 20 American soldiers there since last June.

Recent months have seen an upsurge in violence in Afghanistan, with militants of Taleban, al-Qaida and other allied groups stepping up attacks on government-linked targets and coalition forces.

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