KABUL: A station wagon carrying a family of Afghan civilians struck a roadside bomb in northern Afghanistan on Sunday, killing all nine aboard, an official said.
It was the second such incident in 24 hours. The day before, six were killed when their minivan also hit a roadside bomb, this time in the southern Helmand province.
The blast in northern Baghlan province happened after midday, said Mahmoud Haqmal, a spokesman for the provincial government. The vehicle had just left the local capital when it struck the buried explosive, killing six women, two men and a child.
Civilian casualties have surged in recent months as insurgents have stepped up attacks. A recent United Nations report said it documented 2,412 conflict-related civilian casualties in the first 10 months of 2010.
More than three-quarters of them were caused by militant activity, a 25 percent increase from the same period in 2009, the report said. At the same time, civilian casualties attributed to pro-government forces decreased.
The dead in the Saturday’s explosion in Helmand province killed both women and children, the governor’s office said in a statement. It also wounded three others riding in the vehicle.
That blast occurred in Sangin district, where international forces have been taking heavy casualties while battling a strong insurgency.