MAZAR-I-SHARIF: A roadside bomb has killed 11 people on their way to a wedding in the northern Afghan province of Faryab, officials said Friday, as civilian casualties rise in the war-torn country. The blast occurred on Thursday just as 30 Afghan civilians were killed in US air strikes in the neighbouring province of Kunduz, a hotbed of Taliban insurgency.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the Faryab blast, which also killed women and children, but officials blamed Taliban militants. “Eleven civilians were martyred and 12 others wounded when they struck a roadside bomb in Kosa Qala village in Faryab province,” provincial spokesman Ahmad Jawed Bedar told AFP, adding that the victims were heading to a wedding.
A provincial police spokesman confirmed the same toll. Roadside bombs are the favourite weapon of the Islamist militants fighting to oust the Western-backed Kabul government. Insurgents frequently target Afghan police and military, but the surge in attacks has also taken a heavy toll on civilians. The UN recently cited a 42 percent rise in casualties caused by pro-government forces this year compared to 2015.
But militants were responsible for the majority — 61 percent — of total casualties.