Mazar-i-Sharif (Afghanistan): Nine
civilians including five children have been killed by a
roadside mine as they herded cattle in northwest Afghanistan,
police said on Saturday.
The incident took place in Faryab province, which borders
Turkmenistan, late Friday and again highlights the dangers
civilians face in the ten-year war in Afghanistan.
Faryab police spokesman Sayed Massoud Yaqoobi
confirmed details of the incident, adding: "Nine civilians
were killed including five children and a man was wounded."
There are about 140,000 international troops in
Afghanistan, mainly from the United States, combating a
Taliban-led insurgency that started after the militants were
ousted from power by a US-led invasion.
But civilians are the biggest casualties of the war.
The United Nations said in July that 1,462 civilians
were killed by the Afghan conflict in the first half of this
year, up 15 per cent on the same period last year.
It blamed 80 per cent of the deaths on insurgents.
Many deaths come as a result of improvised explosive devices
(IEDs) and mines.
In the latest major attack in Afghanistan, insurgents
this week killed at least 15 people -- including 11 Afghan
civilians of whom three were children -- in an attack which
targeted the United States embassy in Kabul.