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At Least 15 Afghan Civilians Killed In Two Separate Attacks

An Afghan army exercise in a rural district of Kandahar on August 17.
An Afghan army exercise in a rural district of Kandahar on August 17.

Afghan officials say at least 15 civilians have been killed in two separate roadside bomb blasts in the southern province of Kandahar.

The first explosion killed 12 civilians, including three children, when the vehicle they were traveling in hit an explosive device in Spin Boldak district on the morning of August 28, Kandahar governor's spokesman, Ahmad Bahir Ahmadi, told RFE/RL.

He said the blast was so strong that officials were having difficulty identifying some of the victims.

A few hours later, a second bomb hit a vehicle traveling on the same road.

Ahmadi said the driver of the vehicle and two children were killed in the blast. Another child was wounded.

Ahmadi blamed the attacks on the Taliban.

The Taliban have not commented on the incident, but they usually deny involvement in bombings that cause civilian casualties.

In Kabul, President Ashraf Ghani condemned the attacks and called on the Taliban to stop planting bombs on roads and attacking civilians.

In a statement, Ghani reiterated his calls on the Taliban to cease violence and start face-to-face talks with the Afghan government as part of a U.S.-Taliban deal signed in February aimed at ending conflict in the country.

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan has documented more than 1,280 Afghan civilian deaths during the first half of 2020 -- mainly as a result of fighting between government forces and the Taliban.

With reporting by AP

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