Nine Afghan children walking home from school and two U.S. troops were killed Monday by a suicide bomber on a motorcycle in Paktia province, Afghanistan.
The Associated Press reports the suicide bomber's target was a U.S. military delegation attending a security briefing...
...but children were the main victims. A local school had just let pupils, between 10 and 16 years old, out for the day. Nine students were killed along with a local Afghan policeman... Many of the children's bodies were burned beyond recognition.
The names of the U.S. service members killed in the attack have not yet been released.
The attack is part of the Taliban's spring offense of violence, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The United Nations condemned the attack. Jan Kubis, the U.N. secretary-general's special representative in Afghanistan, responded:
"These attacks resulted in a high number of civilian casualties, with minimal impact on their purported military targets — any such violence is unacceptable, but especially when it involves civilians and even more so when it involves children.
"Any attacks which deliberately take place near a school can only be condemned for the heinous attacks that they are."