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KANDAHAR: A suicide attack and two roadside bombs killed a total of 20 people across Afghanistan yesterday, including women and a child on their way to a wedding, officials said.
The blasts came as civilians continue to bear the brunt of the war and Afghan forces take increasing responsibility for the fight against Taliban insurgents as US-led Nato combat troops prepare to pull out by the end of 2014.
“Ten civilians, including four women and a child were killed in a roadside bomb attack as they were going to attend a wedding party in Musa Qala district of Helmand province,” the provincial governor’s spokesman Ahmad Zeerak said.
Seven children were wounded in the blast in the southern province, which police blamed on Taliban insurgents.
Earlier, a remote controlled bomb in a bazaar in nearby Zabul province killed two boys aged 12 and 14, provincial spokesman Ahmad Jawed Faisal said.
And in a pre-dawn attack, a suicide bomber on a motorcycle killed three policemen in Kandahar city in the south of the country.
“Around 5:00 am, a suicide bomber on a motorbike detonated his explosives at a police checkpost, leaving three Afghan policemen killed and two others wounded,” the provincial governor’s spokesman, Javed Faisal, said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but similar attacks have been claimed by Taliban Islamists fighting to bring down the US-backed government of President Hamid Karzai.
Five Afghan troops died when their pick-up truck hit a roadside bomb in Mehtarlam, the capital of eastern Laghman province, Sarhadi Zwak, the provincial governor’s spokesman, said.
The commander of Nato forces in Afghanistan, General John Allen, condemned the attacks on civilians as “blatantly criminal and unjustifiable acts against the innocent people of Afghanistan”.
“These attacks are the most recent examples of how insurgents intentionally target, kill and injure those who want a brighter future for Afghanistan,” Allen said.
The United Nations says 1,145 civilians were killed in the war in the first six months of this year, blaming 80 percent of the deaths on insurgents, with more than half caused by roadside bombs.
Last year a record 3,021 civilians died in the war, the UN has said, and this year around 30 percent of casualties have been women and children. Most of them were victims of roadside bombs.