At least 12 civilians, including women and children, have been killed in a roadside bomb explosion in Afghanistan’s southern Helmand Province. According to local authorities, the victims are from two families and were killed when a roadside bomb struck their minivan on Friday afternoon. "Five women and a child from one family, and four women and two children from another family were killed in the blast," AFP quoted Helmand governor's spokesman, Daud Ahmadi, as saying on Saturday. No group has yet claimed the responsibility for the attack although similar incidents are usually blamed on Taliban militants.
Violence in Afghanistan has been on the rise in recent months despite the presence of thousands of US-led foreign forces in the war-weary country.The United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan in 2001 as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror. The offensive removed the Taliban from power, but years into the invasion, insecurity continues to rise across the country. According to latest data released by the UN, nearly 1,200 civilians were killed in violent attacks across Afghanistan in the first half of 2012. TNP/JR