The Telegraph, November 18, 2013
Roadside bombs kill nine children across Afghanistan - including seven from same family
Seven children from the same family have been killed in Paktika and two more in Zabul, in a spate of roadside bombings in Afghanistan
By David Hopkins
Relatives move an injured victim of a landmine blast that killed seven children from the same family in Paktika, Afghanistan. (Photo: Ahmadullah Ahmadi/EPA)
Seven schoolchildren from the same family have been killed and an additional three wounded by a roadside bomb in eastern Afghanistan's Paktika province.
"This afternoon as a result of the mine explosion in Khairkot, seven children from one family lost their lives," said Mokhlis Afghan, provincial spokesman, to AFP.
At the time of the incident, the children were playing on the side of the main road, in the Khairot district, close to their home.
He said they were aged between seven and 12 and were in elementary school. The injured children were taken to hospital.
No one has yet claimed responsability for the bomb.
On the same day in southern Zabul province, a further two children were killed when a family was hit by a roadside bomb whilst on their way to the provincial capital of Qalat for shopping. The father was injured along with a third child, Zabul's deputy governor, Mohammed Jan Rasoolyar said.
According to the UN, roadside bombs and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are amongst the most deadly weapons in the insurgent’s arsenal. These devices last year accounted for 41 per cent of deaths in conflict. The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, recorded last year a total of 868 civilian deaths from IEDs.
In UNAMA's latest report on the protection of civilians in armed conflict there was an increase of 23 per cent in the number of civilian casualties in the first six months of 2013, compared to last year.
“The growing loss of life and injuries to Afghan women and children in 2013 is particularly disturbing,” said Georgette Gagnon, the director of UNAMA’s human rights unit.
“Deaths and injuries to women and children increased by 38 per cent in the first half of 2013 reflecting a grim reality of the conflict today in Afghanistan.”
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