x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Afghanistan bombing kills 13 civilians just days after election

“A civilian vehicle hit a roadside bomb on the outskirts of Maiwand district,” Kandahar provincial police spokesman Ghorzang Afridi said. “As a result of the blast, 13 civilians were killed, all men.

KANDAHAR // A roadside bomb killed 13 civilians travelling in a pickup lorry in a volatile district of southern Afghanistan on Monday, officials said, in the first major incident since elections two days ago.

Taliban militants had vowed to target voters, candidates and officials at the presidential elections, but there were no large-scale attacks on polling day on Saturday.

“A civilian vehicle hit a roadside bomb on the outskirts of Maiwand district,” Kandahar provincial police spokesman Ghorzang Afridi said. “As a result of the blast, 13 civilians were killed, all men.

“Five others were wounded, among them one woman and some children.”

The lorry was travelling from a remote village to Kandahar city when it hit the explosive.

Roadside bombs are a common weapon used by the Taliban, though attacks that kill civilians often go unclaimed and there was no immediate claim of responsibility from the insurgents.

The election will end 13 years of rule by President Hamid Karzai, who has held power since the Taliban were ousted in 2001.

Preliminary results are due on April 24.

Afghans have taken over responsibility for security from US-led forces, and this year the last of the Nato coalition’s 51,000 combat troops will pull out.

* Agence France-Presse