KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A minibus struck a roadside bomb in central Afghanistan on Tuesday, killing five civilians including a 3-year-old child, authorities said.
On Monday, five members of the Afghan security forces and four other civilians were killed in separate incidents in the north and south.
The U.N. said last year was the deadliest on record for civilians in the Afghan war, with 3,021 killed.
The number of Afghan civilians killed dropped 36 percent in the first four months of this year compared with last year, but the U.N. laments that too many civilians are still being caught up in violence as insurgents fight Afghan and foreign forces.
Anti-government forces, including the Taliban and other militants, were responsible for 79 percent of civilian casualties in the first four months of this year, the U.N. said. Afghan and foreign forces were responsible for 9 percent. It was unclear who was to blame for the remaining 12 percent.
Shahidullah Shahid, a spokesman for Wardak province, said the minivan hit the bomb early Tuesday in Sayd Abad district.
Four other civilians and three Afghan soldiers died Monday evening in another roadside bomb incident the western province of Farah.
Ghawisdin, the top official in Pusht Rod district who uses only one name, said the soldiers died when their vehicle hit the explosives.
“After the explosion, nearby villagers ran to the explosion site to help the injured,” Ghawisdin said. “The wounded soldiers thought they were being ambushed. They thought they were going to be captured or killed, so they opened fire on the villagers, killing four including the mullah of the mosque.”
In Sangin district of Helmand province in the south, Taliban fighters attacked an Afghan Local Police unit, a village-level fighting force overseen by the Ministry of Interior.
Two policemen were killed and six others were wounded, said Sharefullah, the top official in the district who also uses just one name. He said 20 Taliban fighters were killed in the attack.
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