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Roadside mine kills 17 civilians in western Afghanistan

From Masoud Popalzai, CNN
November 19, 2012 -- Updated 1100 GMT (1900 HKT)
  • NEW: International Security Assistance Force condemns "ruthless IED campaign"
  • 17 reported killed; most were women and children, official says
  • Minibus was carrying wedding party guests, source says
  • Two troops died in a separate incident in eastern Afghanistan

Read a version of this story in Arabic.

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) -- Seventeen civilians were killed when a minibus carrying guests to a wedding party in western Afghanistan struck a roadside mine Friday, a provincial Afghan official said.

Most of the passengers on the bus were women and children traveling from the Khak Safid district to the Pusht Koh district. The blast happened at around 2 p.m. local time, said Mohammad Akram Ekhpelwak, governor of Farah province.

The governor said insurgents were responsible for placing the mine, but there was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

The International Security Assistance Force released a statement condemning the bombing, which it said had killed at least a dozen civilians and wounded at least seven.

"The insurgents have again killed innocent Afghans, including women and children," said Brig. Gen. John Madower, the deputy ISAF spokesman.

"The insurgents' claim to avoid killing civilians again rings hollow as they continue their ruthless IED campaign."

In a separate incident in eastern Afghanistan, two ISAF members were killed in an "improvised explosive attack," according to a statement released by the ISAF.

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