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Women, children among 8 civilians killed by roadside bomb in Balkh

AFP

MAZAR-E-SHARIF -- Eight civilians, including women and children, were killed in Balkh Province Wednesday (August 8) when a roadside bomb ripped through their vehicle, officials said.

Another six Afghans were wounded in the early morning blast in Sholgara District, deputy provincial police chief Abdul Raziq Qaderi told AFP.

"They were travelling towards the centre of the district when their vehicle was hit," he said, adding that 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.

Civilians have borne the brunt of the 17-year conflict, with casualties at record highs.

IEDs, such as remotely detonated or pressure-plate bombs, are one of the main causes of civilian deaths and injuries.

In the first half of 2018, IEDs were responsible for 877 civilian casualties -- 232 deaths and 645 wounded.

The 877 comprised 17% of overall civilian casualties in the country, according to the United Nations.

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