17 Nov 2012

Bomb kills Afghans on way to wedding

6:28 am on 17 November 2012

A roadside bomb planted by Taliban insurgents has killed 17 civilians - mostly women and children - on their way to a wedding party in western Afghanistan, according to officials.

The victims were travelling in a minibus from one village to another for the celebrations when the explosion ripped through the vehicle in Farah province on Friday, provincial government spokesman Abdul Rahman Zhewandai told AFP.

Another 14 were wounded in the blast.

Roadside bombs are the weapon of choice of the hardline Islamists fighting Afghan forces and some 100,000 NATO troops in an effort to topple the government of President Hamid Karzai.

While the Taliban says their targets are military, civilians using the same roads are frequently the victims.

In the first six months of this year, a total of 1145 Afghan civilians were killed and about 2000 wounded, mostly by roadside bombs, according to United Nations figures.

Women and children accounted for about 30% of this year's casualties.