Roadside bomb kills 14 Afghan civilians

Thursday, December 16, 2010

KABUL - Fourteen Afghan civilians were killed and four injured when a bomb hit a minivan in the western Afghan province of Herat Thursday, a government spokesman said.

“A roadside bomb hit a civilian passenger van and killed 14, including women and children,” said Shafiq Behrozyan, a spokesman for the province’s governor.

Four others were injured in the blast that took place in Kushk-e-Kohna district. The bus was carrying a family to a nearby village, Behrozyan said.

Security forces defused two more roadside bombs found in the same area, he said, adding that an investigation was under way into the attack.

President Hamid Karzai strongly condemned the attack, calling the roadside bomb the work of “enemies” - a term often used by Afghan officials to describe Taliban militants.

Roadside bombs are part of the insurgents’ strategy to cause a high number of fatalities among the Afghan and international troops.

More than 2,400 civilians were killed by Afghan soldiers, foreign troops and Taliban militants from January to September, the bloodiest period for Afghan civilians since the ouster of the Taliban regime in late 2001, according to a UN report.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said Wednesday that civilian casualties are one of the main challenges for the war-torn nation.

Civilian casualties, internal displacement and insufficient access to medical care occur against the background of a proliferation of armed groups, the ICRC said. Conflict-related challenges will persist in 2011.

As the conflict has intensified and expanded geographically, civilian casualties have once again increased in comparison with previous years, the report said.

Filed under: Terrorism

will not be displayed