Roadside blast kills six civilians in southern Afghanistan

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At least six people were killed Tuesday after a roadside bomb ripped through their vehicle in southern Afghanistan.

It is the latest violence to hit the war-weary country where ordinary Afghans continue to bear the brunt of decades of conflict.

The vehicle was travelling from Kandahar’s Dand district to the provincial capital when the bomb detonated near the car, killing everyone inside, according to provincial police spokesman Qasim Afghan.

“Four children -- two girls and two boys -- are among those killed in the blast. They are all members of one family,” he told AFP.

Haji Abdullah, governor of Dand district, said the bomb was placed by the Taliban on a road frequently used by foreign and Afghan forces.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, and the Taliban were not immediately available to comment on the incident.

Insurgents, however, often use roadside bombs and landmines to target Afghan security forces -- but the lethal weapons also inflict heavy casualties on civilians.

Years of conflict have left Afghanistan strewn with landmines, unexploded mortars, rockets and homemade bombs -- and many are picked up by curious children.

Last month, a landmine explosion killed seven children and wounded two others after one of the victims stepped on the ordnance in southern Afghanistan’s Ghazni.

According to the United Nations, almost 4,000 civilians -- including more than 900 children -- were killed in Afghanistan last year, with another 7,000 wounded, making it the deadliest year to date for civilians in Afghanistan’s conflict.

The incident in Kandahar comes just a week after at least six people were killed and dozens more wounded in Kabul.

A wave of bombings hit several civilian targets -- including a university school bus -- across the Afghan capital during the Eid holiday.

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