Roadside bomb kills Afghan civilians

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The Independent Online

A roadside bomb in eastern Afghanistan killed three Afghan civilians, Nato forces said today.

They died yesterday when their vehicle struck the bomb while driving in Ghazni province's Waghaz district, the coalition said in a statement. Another three people were wounded.

It was the latest in a growing number of civilian deaths caused by insurgent forces.

The number of Afghan civilians killed or injured in the war soared 31 percent in the first six months of the year, with Taliban bombings and assassinations largely responsible for the sharp rise, the United Nations said in a report this week.

Hidden bombs and suicide attacks are killing and maiming so many Afghans that Amnesty International urged the Afghan government to seek prosecution of Taliban leaders for war crimes. Women and children are increasingly bearing the brunt of the conflict — even as Nato restrains the use of force on the battlefield.

The UN report released yesterday found the number of deaths and injuries caused by Nato and Afghan government forces dropped 30 percent compared with the first six months of last year, largely a result of curbs on the use of air power and heavy weapons.

But the overall sharp rise in deaths and injuries indicate the war is growing ever-more violent, undermining the coalition's aim of improving security for ordinary Afghans in the face of a virulent Taliban insurgency.