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Roadside bomb kills 10 civilians

A roadside bomb struck a minivan in a remote part of southern Afghanistan on Thursday, killing at least 10 people and wounding eight more, officials said.

The blast hit the vehicle as it travelled through the Dehra Wood district of Uruzgan province early Thursday, and most of the dead were women and children, said local governor Nayamatullah Khaliqi. He earlier had said the blast occurred late Wednesday.

A spokesman for the provincial police chief and NATO also said the explosion took place Thursday.

The U.S.-led NATO coalition condemned the blast.

Insurgents regularly plant roadside bombs to target NATO forces, but the devices often kill civilians. Bombs like the one in Uruzgan province have killed a total of 16 people since Tuesday.

The United Nations has called on the Taliban leadership to stop using such explosives and mines. The Taliban say they use only remote-controlled roadside bombs which, unlike the mines automatically activated by pressure-plates, allow a bomber to choose the time of the blast and specifically target coalition troops and their Afghan allies.

But the U.N. says that insurgent-placed homemade bombs continue to be the deadliest weapon for civilians. Such explosives killed 340 civilians and wounded 599 others in the first nine months of this year, an increase of almost 30 per cent compared to the same period last year, according to the U.N.

The Canadian Press


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