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Roadside bomb kills six Afghan civilians in Helmand province

An Afghan flag flies over an observation post, Pekha Valley, Achin District, Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, Oct. 19, 2017.

MATTHEW DEVIRGILIO/U.S. ARMY

By ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: June 28, 2020

KABUL, Afghanistan — A roadside bomb killed at least six Afghan civilians Sunday in southern Helmand province, including a woman and two children, an official said. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

Another woman in the vehicle was wounded in the explosion, which took place in Washer district, said Omar Zwak, spokesman for Helmand’s governor. He did not have additional information on her condition nor whether the victims were from one family.

Zwak blamed Taliban insurgents for the attack. Afghanistan has seen a recent spike in violence, with most attacks claimed by the local affiliate of Islamic State, which is fighting both the Taliban and the Kabul government.

A U.S.-Taliban peace deal signed in late February provides for the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO troops from Afghanistan. It’s been touted as the country’s best chance at peace in four decades of war.

On Saturday, two employees of the country’s human rights commission were killed when their vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb in the capital, Kabul. According to a statement from the commission, the victims of the attack were Fatima Khalil, 24, a donor liaison officer, and Jawid Folad, 41, a driver. No one claimed responsibility for that attack..

In early June, ISIS took credit for a bombing at a mosque in Kabul that killed two people, including the prayer leader. Eight worshipers also were wounded.

A week later, another prayer leader and three worshipers were killed by a bomb blast inside another mosque in Kabul. Eight other worshipers were wounded. The Taliban condemned the mosque attacks.

The U.S. has blamed ISIS for a horrific attack last month on a maternity hospital in the capital that killed 24 people, including two infants and several new mothers.

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