Afghan official: Bombs kill 2 children in northern province

An Afghan official says that two bombs have gone off near-simultaneously on a roadside in the country's north, killing two children and wounding nine people

The explosions took place in the city of Mazr-i Sharif, the provincial capital of Balkh province, said Adil Shah Adil, the provincial police chief's spokesman. He said of the nine wounded, eight are civilians and one is a member of the Afghan security forces.

The Taliban hold sway over practically half of Afghanistan today, staging near-daily attacks that target soldiers, security forces and government officials but also kill scores of civilians — even as they hold peace talks with a U.S. envoy seeking a resolution to the 18-year war, America's longest conflict.