Officials: Roadside bomb kills nine civilians in southern Afghanistan

File picture shows Afghan security forces keeping watch near the site of a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan February 11, 2020. — Reuters pic
File picture shows Afghan security forces keeping watch near the site of a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan February 11, 2020. — Reuters pic

KANDAHAR, June 3 — A roadside bomb tore through a small bus in southern Afghanistan today, killing nine civilians including women and children, officials said.

The bombing, which occurred in Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban, came a day after a blast in a mosque in Kabul’s fortified Green Zone killed two people including a well-known imam.

Nine people died and five others were wounded when a roadside bomb struck their bus in Arghistan district of Kandahar province, provincial police spokesman Jamal Nasir Barekzai said.

Several victims were women and children, said Baheer Ahmad Ahmadi, spokesman to the provincial governor, who also confirmed the toll.

No one claimed the Kandahar attack, but Barekzai blamed the Taliban.

In Kabul yesterday, an imam and a worshipper were killed in a prayer-time bombing at a popular mosque in the fortified Green Zone in Kabul.

That bombing, which the Taliban condemned, came a day after seven civilians were killed in the north of the country in a roadside bombing authorities blamed on the insurgents.

Today, the UN mission in Afghanistan said homemade bombs used by the Taliban to target Afghan security forces have killed at least 10 civilians in the past two days. 

The UN urged the militants to “stop using these illegal improvised mines”.

Despite these attacks, overall violence across much of Afghanistan has dropped since May 24 when the Taliban instigated a rare three-day ceasefire to mark the Eid al-Fitr holiday.

Officials have acknowledged a lull in violence, though they blamed the militants for some deadly attacks in recent days.  

Before the ceasefire, violence had surged since the Taliban signed a landmark agreement with the United States in February.

The deal paves the way for the withdrawal of all foreign forces by May next year. — AFP

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