Seven of a family killed in Helmand blast

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LASHKAR GAH: At least seven civilians were killed in an explosion in the restive southern Helmand province of Afghanistan, local officials said Sunday.
According to Afghan media, the incident took place in the vicinity of Lashkargah city, the provincial capital of Helmand province.
Provincial governor’s spokesman Omar Zwak confirmed that a civilian vehicle struck an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) planted by the militants in Bolan area of the city.
He said four children and two women were among those killed in the incident and the victims were all members of a single family.
On the other hand reports suggest at least 11 civilians were killed in the incident but the local officials have not confirmed the report so far.
No group including the Taliban insurgents have so far claimed responsibility behind the incident.
Taliban insurgents and militants belonging to the other insurgent groups frequently use Improvised Explosive Device (IED) as the weapon of their choice to target the security forces but the ordinary civilians are often targeted in such attacks.
This comes as the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan released the latest civilian casualties report late last month which stated at least 3726 civilians were killed or wounded between January and June of this year.
The UN mission said the civilian casualties in the country has reached to a record number since counting began in 2009, with 5,166 civilians recorded killed or maimed in just the first six months of this year, of whom almost one-third were children.
The total civilian casualty figure recorded by the UN between 1 January 2009 and 30 June 2016 has risen to 63,934, including 22,941 deaths and 40,993 injured.
According to the UN mission, the anti-government elements remain responsible for 60 percent of the civilian casualties with ground engagements continuing to cause the highest number of civilian casualties, followed by complex and suicide attacks and improved explosive devices (IEDs).– Agencies

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