A roadside bomb has killed 11 people on their way to a wedding in the northern Afghan province of Faryab, officials said Friday, as civilian casualties rise in the war-torn country. The blast occurred yesterday just as 30 Afghan civilians were killed in US air strikes in the neighbouring province of Kunduz, a hotbed of Taliban insurgency. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the Faryab blast, which also killed women and children, but officials blamed Taliban militants.
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“Eleven civilians were martyred and 12 others wounded when they struck a roadside bomb in Kosa Qala village in Faryab province,” provincial spokesman Ahmad Jawed Bedar told AFP, adding that the victims were heading to a wedding.
A provincial police spokesman confirmed the same toll. Roadside bombs are the favourite weapon of the Islamist militants fighting to oust the Western-backed Kabul government. Insurgents frequently target Afghan police and military, but the surge in attacks has also taken a heavy toll on civilians. The UN recently cited a 42 per cent rise in casualties caused by pro-government forces this year compared to 2015. But Islamist militants were responsible for the majority – 61 per cent – of total casualties.