Two children killed in Afghan bombing

Two children were killed when their family’s vehicle hit a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan today, officials said.

Deputy governor of southern Zabul province, Mohammed Jan Rasoolyar, told reporters that the family were travelling to the provincial capital of Qalat for shopping. The father was wounded along with a third child, he said.

Improvised explosive devices are among the deadliest weapons in the insurgents’ arsenal but they often kill civilians.

Also today, police in Kandahar – the birthplace of the Taliban – stopped a tractor hauling improvised explosive devices, said Javid Faisal, the provincial governor’s spokesman.

A fire fight erupted as the police tried to stop the vehicle near the border with Pakistan, he said. The shooting ignited the devices, killing the driver and a second person on the tractor.

Meanwhile, six bodies found in the volatile region yesterday were identified as policemen and not labourers, as was initially reported.

Mr Rasoolyar said the confusion arose because the bodies found in neighbouring Kandahar province were in civilian clothes. The officers had disappeared several days earlier from Zabul.

Mr Rasoolyar said that, with limited means for forensic identification, it took the police nearly a full day to resolve the confusion.

The six policemen were abducted by the Taliban from Zabul and taken to Kandahar where their bodies were found yesterday.

The Taliban have repeatedly warned Afghans against joining the government or the military and police forces. Hundreds of Afghan policemen have been killed this year in ambushes, targeted killings and bombings.

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