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Afghanistan: 13 civilians killed in landmine blasts

Incidents take place in Herat, Laghman, Kunar provinces as intra-Afghan peace talks continue in Doha

Shadi Khan Saif   | 14.10.2020
Afghanistan: 13 civilians killed in landmine blasts FILE PHOTO

KABUL, Afghanistan

At least 13 civilians, including five children, were killed in three landmine blasts in various provinces of Afghanistan on Wednesday, officials confirmed.

The Interior Ministry said in a statement that five children were killed and 13 civilians, including women, injured in the western Herat province bordering Iran when a minibus carrying them hit a roadside landmine in the Kashk-e-Kohna district.

Jailani Farhad, the spokesman for the Herat governor, told Anadolu Agency the minibus was carrying civilians to a wedding party when it hit the landmine in the Larsurkh area. He blamed the Taliban for planting the landmine.

Eight other civilians lost their lives to identical incidents in the eastern Laghman and Kunar provinces, according to the Interior Ministry statement. It noted five civilians were killed in the Almat district of Kunar and three in the Mehtarlam city, the capital of Laghman province.

The Taliban are yet to comment on these incidents.

This recent wave of violence comes as landmark intra-Afghan peace talks are underway in the Qatar’s capital Doha since Sept. 12, where delegates from both sides are yet to agree on the agenda and a conflict resolution mechanism.

Figures by Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission suggested that in the first six months of 2020, a total of 1,213 civilians were killed and 1744 injured in 880 different incidents such as landmine blasts, aerial raids and ground offensives by the warring parties.

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