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17 killed in series of roadside bombings in Afghanistan

01 November, 2012

KANDAHAR: A series of roadside bombs in restive southern Afghanistan on Wednesday killed a total of 17 people, among them women and children, in a bloody week for civilians.

The attacks came the day the head of the Afghan election commission said Taliban and other insurgents could stand as candidates in the next presidential ballot in April 2014.

Last Friday a suicide bomber wearing a police uniform killed 42 people, including five children, at a mosque in northern Faryab province after prayers for the festival of Eidul Azha, an attack blamed on the Taliban.

Wednesday's bloodshed began when a roadside bomb tore through a vehicle in Musa Qala district of Helmand province at around 9am. Seven women and three children were killed, according to provincial spokesman Farid Ahmad Farhang.

Hours later, a second device destroyed a civilian motorcycle, killing a man and injuring a woman and three children - all members of the same family - Farhang said.

A statement from the Helmand governor's office confirmed the toll and blamed the 'enemies of Afghanistan', a term used to refer to Taliban insurgents waging an 11-year war against the Kabul government and its NATO supporters.

Later another blast in Maruf district of neighbouring Kandahar province killed six civilians.

"A roadside bomb this afternoon blew up a civilian minivan in Maruf district that killed six people, including women and children." said provincial spokesman Jawed Ahmad Faisal.

A provincial police spokesman confirmed the incident without giving details.

Roadside bombs, also known as improvised explosive devices (IEDs), are the deadliest insurgent weapon both for the military fighting the Taliban and civilians.

Last year a record 3,021 civilians died in the war, the United Nations has said, and this year around 30 percent of casualties have been women and children.

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