13 civilians killed, wounded in roadside mine explosion in Balkh
KABUL: At least thirteen civilians were killed or wounded an explosion triggered by improvised explosive device in northern Balkh province of Afghanistan. A spokesman for the 209th Shaheen Corps, Mohammad Hanif Rezaye , said the incident has taken place in the vicinity of Shulgar district and as a result at least six civilians, all members of a single family, have lost their lives.
He said the incident took place after a civilian vehicle struck an improvised explosive device planted on a roadside. At least seven civilians also sustained injuries in the explosion, the 209th Shaheen Corps spokesman added. The district administrative chief Arif Agha had earlier also confirmed that at least 6 civilians have been killed and 7 others have sustained injuries.
No individual or group has so far claimed responsibility behind the incident. Taliban and other militants often use IED as the weapon of their choice to target the security forces and government but in majority of such attacks ordinary civilians are targeted, besides such attacks often claims the lives of the militants as well. The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) in its latest report stated that 1,692 civilians were killed in the first six months of 2018.
According to UNAMA, the use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in attacks by Anti-Government Elements remained the leading cause of civilian casualties. “The combined use of suicide and non-suicide IEDs caused nearly half of all civilian casualties. Continuing trends first documented last year by UNAMA, the majority of IED casualties were caused by suicide and complex attacks, which again were responsible for record high civilian casualties, resulting in 1,413 civilian casualties (427 deaths and 986 injured), a 22 per cent increase,” UNAMA said.