Roadside blasts kill at least 12 Afghan civilians

Two roadside bombs exploded on Thursday in eastern and southern Afghanistan, killing at least 12 people and injuring 16 others, officials said.

Militants regularly plant roadside bombs to target Afghan and NATO forces, but the devices often kill civilians. Bombs like the ones in Khost and Uruzgan province have killed a total of 16 people since Tuesday.

A bomb blast killed two civilians at a park in Khost, about 150 kilometers (90 miles) south of the capital, Kabul, said Jabar Nahimi, governor of Khost province in eastern Afghanistan. Eight others were wounded in the blast, including four women and a child, he said.

Earlier, a minivan traveling in a remote part of Uruzgan province in southern Afghanistan struck a roadside bomb, killing at least 10 people and wounding eight others, said Nayamatullah Khaliqi, the top government official in Dehra Wood district. He said most of the dead were women and children.

The United Nations has called on the Taliban leadership to stop using such explosives and mines. The Taliban say they use only remote-controlled roadside bombs which - unlike the mines automatically activated by pressure plates - allow a bomber to choose the time of the blast and specifically target coalition troops and their Afghan allies.

The U.N. says that insurgents' homemade bombs continue to cause the most civilian deaths. Such explosives killed 340 civilians and wounded 599 others in the first nine months of this year, an increase of almost 30 percent compared to the same period last year, according to the U.N.

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