Afghan farmers die in suicide blast

Police say a bomb concealed on a bicycle has killed 17 people in southern Afghanistan.

    Wednesday's attack occurred as officials tried to persuade Afghan farmers not to grow opium [AFP]

    Farmers 'killed'

    The casualties were all farmers who had gathered in the area to receive free seeds from the government as part of a program to encourage them not to plant opium poppy, Daoud Ahmadi, a spokesman for the provincial government, said.

    In depth

      Holbrooke on 'Operation Moshtarak'
      Operation Moshtarak at a glance
      Video: Kandahar's sitting ducks
      Video: Forces 'positive' on Afghan assault
      Video: Afghanistan's influential elders
      Video: Taliban second in command captured
      Focus: To win over Afghans, US must listen
      Timeline: Afghanistan in crisis

    Lashkar Gah is near Marjah in Helmand province, the focus of a major Nato-led offensive against the Taliban.

    Thousands of Nato and Afghan troops have launched a massive offensive in southern Afghanistan - the largest the country has seen since the 2001 US-led invasion.

    A major offensive in Kandahar, once a Taliban stronghold, would follow the current military operation in neighbouring Helmand province,which appears to have largely pushed back the Taliban and given the government a chance to take control.

    Marjah is also thought to be the hub of the Taliban-controlled opium trade - which provides them with most of their funding.

    The Afghan defence ministry has said the anti-Taliban push will be led by Afghan security forces as part of plans to hand over military and police responsibility to the Western-backed government.

    The US and Nato have about 113,000 troops fighting in Afghanistan, with another 40,000 being deployed in the coming months.

    SOURCE: Agencies


     How Britain Destroyed the Palestinian Homeland

    How Britain Destroyed the Palestinian Homeland

    Ninety-nine years since Balfour's "promise", Palestinians insist that their rights in Palestine cannot be dismissed.

    Afghan asylum seekers resort to sex work in Athens

    Afghan asylum seekers resort to sex work in Athens

    In the rundown Pedion Areos Park, older men walk slowly by young asylum seekers before agreeing on a price for sex.

    Mom takes kids to vandalize mosque in Tempe

    Mom takes kids to vandalize mosque in Tempe

    She recorded it live on Facebook.