Mine blast kills five civilians in Afghan: Govt



Kabul: Five civilians were killed in one of the deadliest parts of southern Afghanistan when their mini-van drove over a land mine, a provincial government spokesman said on Friday.

Helmand provincial spokesman Daud Ahmadi said one person was also injured in the blast yesterday afternoon in the district of Sangin, the deadliest area for US forces in the course of a nearly 10-year war against the Taliban. "A mini-van struck a Taliban-planted mine and five people were killed and another person was injured," he said, adding: "They were civilians."

They were killed on the same day that the United Nations said the number of civilians killed in the first half of 2011 was up 15 per cent, putting the year on track to be the deadliest in the current conflict in Afghanistan.

Helmand provincial spokesman Daud Ahmadi said one person was also injured in the blast yesterday afternoon in the district of Sangin, the deadliest area for US forces in the course of a nearly 10-year war against the Taliban. "A mini-van struck a Taliban-planted mine and five people were killed and another person was injured," he said, adding: "They were civilians."

They were killed on the same day that the United Nations said the number of civilians killed in the first half of 2011 was up 15 per cent, putting the year on track to be the deadliest in the current conflict in Afghanistan.

The UN mission in Afghanistan said insurgents were responsible for 80 per cent of civilian deaths in the past six months and NATO troops 14 per cent of the killings.

NATO is investigating claims that six civilians were killed during a military operation targeting the al Qaeda-linked Haqqani network in the east.

PTI