Roadside bombs kill 17 civilians in Afghanistan
At least 17 civilians were killed by three roadside bombs in southern Afghanistan, officials said Saturday, dpa reported.
"Bombings on highways that murder innocent civilians are the work of those who don't want the people of Afghanistan to have a life without sadness," said President Hamid Karzai in a statement on the deaths in Zabul province.
The first bomb struck a minivan - in which a family returning from Pakistan was travelling - on a highway in Shamlezo district, Zabul province, killing 13 people. The victims included four women and two children, Karzai's office said.
"The family was on its way to Ghazni province when (the) bomb went off," said Shahzada Hamdard, the deputy intelligence chief. He earlier said 11 people had died.
In neighboring Kandahar, two roadside bombs killed four civilians on Friday night, the provincial governor's office said.
Two farmers who died were on a donkey that stepped on a mine in Marof district. Another bomb exploded, killing two, when people rushed in to help.
Civilians make up the majority of the victims in the nearly decade-long war in Afghanistan. An estimated 360 civilians were killed in May alone, according to the United Nations.
Meanwhile, a tribal leader in the southern province of Helmand was gunned down, allegedly by Taliban militants, officials said. Mohammad Khan was killed early Saturday in Greshk district.