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10 civilians killed as minivan hits roadside bomb in Afghanistan

By David Zucchino, Los Angeles Times –

KABUL, Afghanistan — A minivan packed with civilians struck a roadside bomb in the southern Afghanistan province of Oruzgan on Thursday morning, killing 10 people and wounding eight others.

Most of the victims were women and children, said Abdullah Hemat, a spokesman for the provincial governor.

The occupants of the vehicle were on their way to celebrate a family member’s return from the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, Hemat said. He blamed the explosion on Taliban insurgents, who often plant roadside bombs that kill indiscriminately.

The explosion was the second in less than two weeks to kill large numbers of civilians in Afghanistan. On Nov. 16, a roadside bomb killed 17 people and wounded nine others during a wedding procession in western Farah province. Most were women and children.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the attack. “Innocent people’s blood will not be wasted, and terrorists will be shamed in this world and hereafter,” he said in a statement.

Also Thursday, officials in Kunduz province in the north said a 15-year-old Afghan girl was beheaded by her would-be suitor after her family rejected the man’s marriage proposal.

Hamdullah Danishi, deputy governor of Kunduz, said the girl was attacked as she walked to collect water from a spring near her home. Danishi said the suitor was arrested and that police are seeking another man who may have been involved.

Authorities did not release the name of the girl or the suspects.

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