Afghan officials: Roadside bombs kill 14 in separate attacks

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Kabul:  Roadside bombs struck two vehicles carrying civilians in separate attacks Friday in southern Afghanistan, killing at least 14 people, including three children, and wounding three others, officials said.

The spokesman for Kandahar province’s governor, Bahir Ahmadi, said the blast in the first attack in Spin Boldak district killed 13 people and was so strong that officials were having difficulty identifying some of the victims.

A second bomb exploded Friday in the afternoon on the same road hitting a truck. The driver was killed and three children were wounded, Ahmadi said. He said the victims were on their way to a wedding ceremony.

Provincial council member Yousuf Younosi said the two roadside bombs killed 19 civilians. The discrepancy between the two numbers could not immediately be accounted for.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks but both the Taliban and Islamic State group affiliate are active in the area.

Ahmadi accused Taliban insurgents of placing the bombs.

But Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid denied the insurgent group was responsible for the attacks saying the area used to be a battlefield and the bombs were likely from that time.

The violence comes as hopes are on the rise for intra-Afghan talks to decide the war-torn country’s future. Afghan civilians continue to bear the brunt of the war, despite efforts to launch peace talks between the Kabul government and the Taliban.

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