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Roadside bomb kills 5 Afghan family members

world Updated: Jan 15, 2010 21:45 IST

AP
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A roadside bomb struck a family traveling home after visiting a shrine on Friday in southern Afghanistan, killing five people, including four children.

The blast occurred in the Spin Boldak district of Kandahar, near the Pakistan border, a day after a suicide bombing killed as many as 20 people at a crowded bazaar in Dihrawud in Uruzgan province, underscoring the dangers facing civilians as fighting intensifies in Afghanistan.

Those killed on Friday included the mother, three boys and a girl, according to Abdul Razaq, a local border security commander. He said the father and another male relative were wounded.

Police believe the family's vehicle wasn't targeted but hit a land mine meant for police or other officials who are frequently attacked by insurgents, according to Razaq.

Afghan civilians have increasingly been caught in the middle as violence increases with an influx of US and other foreign forces aimed at routing the Taliban.

A UN report this week showed that Taliban suicide bombings and other attacks caused Afghan civilian deaths to soar last year to the highest annual level of the war, to 2,412 - a 14 per cent increase over the 2,118 who died in 2008. Nearly 70 per cent of those were caused by insurgents.