Roadside bomb kills 10 in Afghanistan: officials

Roadside bomb kills 10 in Afghanistan: officials

HERAT, Afghanistan - Agance France-Presse
Roadside bomb kills 10 in Afghanistan: officials

Scene of a suicide attack in Herat is shown in this Nov. 3 photo. AFP photo

A roadside bomb killed 10 people in northwest Afghanistan, officials said today, the latest civilians to die during the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha.

The blast struck a police vehicle in Badghis province late Monday, killing two officers plus eight civilians from the same family in another vehicle which was following it, said Badghis provincial council chairman Faizullah Azimi.

"A mine planted by the Taliban hit a police vehicle in Qadis district yesterday evening leaving two policemen and eight civilians dead," Azimi told AFP. "All the civilians were members of the same family."

He said two policemen and a child were also wounded.

The toll was confirmed by interior ministry spokesman Siddiq Siddiqui in Kabul, who said the dead included women and children and called the attack "cowardly."

The blast came days after Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omar urged his fighters to avoid civilian casualties in the decade-long war.

On Friday, the Taliban published a statement on their website attributed to Omar calling on fighters "to take every step to protect the lives and wealth of ordinary people".

The statement, issued to mark Eid al-Adha, warned of punishments under Islamic Sharia law for fighters responsible for civilian deaths.

But Siddiqui said: "Despite their statement the other day about protecting civilian lives, the Taliban once again proved that they do not care about the lives of men, women and children."

The Taliban's spokesman was not immediately reachable to comment on the latest attack.

Monday was the second day of Eid al-Adha, when many Afghans celebrate by visiting friends and family.

It was not the first attack during Eid in Afghanistan - on Sunday, a Taliban suicide bomber killed seven people returning from prayers at a mosque in the northern city of Baghlan.

The United Nations says the number of civilians killed in the Afghan war in the first half of this year rose 15 percent to 1,462, with insurgents behind 80 percent of the deaths.

Around 140,000 international troops are serving in Afghanistan, mostly from the United States, helping Afghan government forces fight a bloody, Taliban-led insurgency.

Limited withdrawals of foreign troops have already started, and all combat forces are due to leave by the end of 2014, although a sizeable training and mentoring mission is expected to remain