Roadside bombings in southern and central Afghanistan kill 13 people, says official

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Roadside bombings in southern and central Afghanistan killed 13 people, including nine members of one family, officials said Thursday. Meanwhile, militants stopped a bus in western Afghanistan, ordered three men to get out and shot and killed them.

No one has claimed responsibility for the latest attacks. The three men on the bus were ethnic Hazaras. The government blamed the Taliban, who denied responsibility. Previous attacks on Hazaras, who are mostly Shiite Muslims, have been claimed by the ISIS group.

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Large swaths of war-ravaged Afghanistan have been littered with bombs and land mines. Many have been planted by insurgents to target military convoys but often kill civilians instead.

One of the two bombs struck a car carrying a family of 12 in southern Helmand province late on Wednesday, said provincial police spokesman Zaman Hamdarad. Several of the nine family members who died were children, he said.

The vehicle was travelling to the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah when it struck the bomb. The Nad Ali district where the explosion occurred is under Taliban control and Hamdarad said it is difficult to get information. Three wounded children were taken to the provincial hospital in Lashkar Gah, he said.

A second roadside bombing, in central Ghor province, destroyed a motorcycle carrying a family of four, all of whom were killed, said the province’s governor, Abdul Zahir Faizzada.

Meanwhile, the Taliban earlier this week said Afghan fighter jets bombed a health clinic in area the insurgents control in northern Baghlan province. A video circulated by the Taliban showed a partially damaged mud and brick building, typical of rural Afghanistan. The Taliban said one patient was killed and 18 other people were hurt, including two doctors.

The government said it was targeting insurgents and claimed to have destroyed Taliban compounds.

The United Nations has repeatedly demanded both sides take more precautions to protect civilians. In the first three months of this year, the UN mission in Afghanistan said 1,783 civilians had been killed or wounded in Afghanistan, up 29 percent over the same period last year.

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