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Roadside bomb kills eight Afghan civilians: officials

The Taliban regularly targets security forces in Afghanistan [File Photo: Getty]

Date of publication: 8 August, 2018

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A roadside bomb targeting security forces killed eight civilians, including women and children, authorities said on Wednesday.

Eight civilians, including women and children, were killed in northern Afghanistan on Wednesday when a roadside bomb apparently targeting security forces ripped through the vehicle in which they were travelling, officials said. 

Another six people were wounded in the early morning blast in Sholgara district in Balkh province, Abdul Razaq Qaderi, deputy provincial police chief, told AFP

"They were travelling towards the centre of the district when their vehicle was hit," he said, adding four children were among the dead.

District governor Amir Mohammad Weqar confirmed the incident, saying the bomb was planted by militants to hit Afghan security forces.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility but the Taliban often use improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to target vehicles carrying foreign and Afghan forces and government officials.  

On Sunday, three NATO troops were killed in a suicide attack, the United States military said.

In the run up to Afghanistan's years-delayed elections in October, security forces have struggled to get the upper hand against militant groups and prevent civilian casualties.

Many Western and Afghan officials expect 2018 to continue to be a particularly bloody year.

Earlier this month, the UN released a report showing a record number of civilians killed in the first six months of 2018, with militant attacks and suicide bombs the leading causes of death.

The toll of 1,692 fatalities was one percent more than a year earlier and the highest for the period since the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) began keeping records in 2009.

The record death toll came despite an unprecedented ceasefire by Afghan security forces and the Taliban during Ramadan that was largely respected by both sides, UNAMA said.

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