Taliban suicide bombers and gunmen unloaded a volley of violence across Afghanistan Saturday, killing two U.S. soldiers, assassinating a Supreme Court official, picking off 12 men working to clear land mines, and killing seven Afghan soldiers on a bus—continuing the pace of what has been a particularly bloody few months in the country.
The attacks began overnight when two American soldiers were killed as their convoy came under enemy attack near Bagram Airbase near Kabul. "Two International Security Assistance Force service members died as a result of an enemy forces attack in eastern Afghanistan on Dec. 12, 2014," a coalition press release said on Saturday.
In a more targeted killing early Saturday in Kabul's northwestern suburbs, gunmen assassinated Atiqullah Rawoofi, the head of the Supreme Court's secretariat, as he walked from his home to his car on his way to work. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the death, although they did not specify why they targeted Rawoofi.
Later, Taliban fighters killed at least 12 workers clearing mines for a contractor in southern Helmand province. At least another 12 were injured; 81 workers in total were at the site when they came under fire. The Taliban regularly targets demining workers as they attempt to remove mines throughout the country.