Roadside bomb kills 30 Afghan civilians

Tue Sep 29, 2009 7:17am EDT

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (Reuters) – A roadside bomb killed 30 civilians in southern Afghanistan Tuesday including 10 children and seven women, the Interior Ministry said.

At least 39 others were wounded when the bomb hit a bus in the Maiwand district outside the southern city of Kandahar, it said in a statement.

Provincial government spokesman Zalmai Ayoubi said the bomb went off on a highway where a similar blast killed three civilians a day earlier. He blamed the Taliban for planting the devices.

Homemade bombs have become by far the deadliest weapon used by insurgents fighting Western and Afghan government forces, and civilians are frequently killed in the blasts.

Reuters could not immediately reach the Taliban for comment, but the militants usually distance themselves from blasts when civilians are the victims.

In a separate bomb attack, one woman was killed and another was wounded in the Spinghar district in east Afghanistan.

Ousted from power in a U.S.-led invasion in 2001, the Taliban largely rely on roadside bombs and suicide attacks in their campaign against foreign and Afghan forces.

More than 1,500 civilians have been killed by violence in Afghanistan so far this year, the United Nations said last week.

It said 68 percent of the civilian killings were a result of militant attacks, while 23 percent were caused by Afghan and foreign troops led by NATO and the U.S. military.

(Reporting by Ismail Sameem and Golnar Motevalli; Writing by Sayed Salahuddin and Golnar Motevalli; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)

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