Ten Afghan civilians killed in latest Afghan violence


Kabul : Five members of a family were killed in a roadside bomb blast in southern Afghanistan Friday, while five other civilians were killed by a rocket attack and NATO forces elsewhere in the country, officials said.

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The family – a mother, her three sons and a daughter – were killed when their vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb en route to a shrine in the Spin Boldak district of the southern province of Kandahar, Abdul Razaq, a border police commander said.

The bomb, which also wounded two other civilians in the car, was planted on the road to target Afghan or international forces, but hit the local villagers’ vehicle by accident, Razaq surmised. He blamed the Taliban for endangering civilian lives.

Elsewhere, a man and two women were killed when a rocket hit their home in the Chardara district of the northern province of Kunduz Friday, district chief Abdul Wahid Omarkhel, said.

There was fighting underway in the area between Taliban militants and government forces. It was not known which side fired the rocket, Omerkhel said.

But Gholam Sakhi, a local resident in the district, told the German Press Agency dpa that the rocket was fired by Afghan army forces stationed on a nearby mountain. “Taliban are in control here, so why they should target their own area?”

In southern Kandahar province, two men were killed by NATO forces after those had been struck by a roadside bomb, the alliance military said in a statement.

“Immediately following the strike, three motorcycles approached the patrol at a high rate of speed,” it said, adding, “As escalation of force procedures were followed, the patrol perceived an imminent threat and shot and killed two individuals and detained four others.”

The statement did not say if the men were insurgents. Nor did it say if there were any casualties among the NATO forces in the blast.

A police official in the province, who declined to be named, said the men on motorcycles were civilians.

The latest civilian deaths came a day after 20 civilians were killed by a suicide bomber in a busy market in southern province of Uruzgan.

More than 2,400 civilians were killed in attacks by insurgents or NATO troops in 2009, according to a recent UN report. Nearly 70 per cent of the casualties were inflicted by Taliban insurgents.