Taliban Steps Up Attacks in Afghanistan

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A deadly bombing at a wedding party is the latest act of Taliban violence in Afghanistan.

It comes as U.S. and NATO troops prepare for a major offensive in the troubled Kandahar province.

Coffins of the dead rested outside the hospital in the heart of Taliban country, Thursday.  At least 40 were killed and more than 100 wounded, most of them children, in a Kandahar village that was guarding against the Taliban.

"For a suicide bomber to go and kill people there is not only against Islam, it is an act against the whole of humanity," Afghan President Hamid Karzai said.

The situation is also getting deadlier for U.S. forces in advance of a U.S.-NATO offensive against the Taliban. At least 18 Americans have died so far this month.

"Well, I think that we are pressuring the enemy, and they are reacting to that. As we predicted, violence would go up the more places we were, the more forces we used to take away from the enemy," said Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the commander of the International Security Assistance Force.

McChrystal said the offensive won't go as quickly as planned to try and gain support of Kandahar's tribal elders who are said to hold the key to a successful mission.

Britain's new Prime Minister David Cameron paid a visit to President Karzai to lend British support to the NATO effort.

"This is the vital year, and that's why the president and I have been talking, not just about a military surge, vital though that is, but also, the importance of the political surge, the importance of political negotiations of re-integrating Taliban who want to lay down their weapons into the political process," Cameron said.

In the meantime, the region is likely to be plagued by more incidents of violence.

There were reports this week that the Taliban executed a 7-year-old boy who they claimed was a spy.  The Taliban is also accused of planting syringes with hepatitis and HIV near explosive devices in hopes that soldiers will step on them and get infected.

The London Sun reported the terrorists also put needles and razor blades in the bombs to make infected shrapnel. One British officer called the tactics despicable.

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