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Mine blast kills 7 children in Afghanistan

By Masoud Popalzai, CNN
November 18, 2013 -- Updated 1539 GMT (2339 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Children were playing near a road when they triggered a mine, spokesman says
  • U.N. report: 231 children killed in Afghanistan in first six months of 2013
  • Leading cause was bombs and mines, report said

(CNN) -- Seven children were killed by a mine that exploded at a road where they were playing in eastern Afghanistan on Monday afternoon, a spokesman for a provincial governor said.

The deaths add to what the United Nations says is the hundreds of children killed this year in explosions or fighting between Afghan government forces and insurgents.

The children were playing in the Khairkut district of Paktika province when, around 3 p.m., they triggered a mine that had been planted at the road, said Mukhlis Afghan, a spokesman for the province's governor.

Afghan blamed what he said are the enemies of peace in Afghanistan for planting the mine, without naming the Taliban or any other insurgent groups.

In the first six months of this year, 231 children were killed and 529 were injured in Afghanistan, according to the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. The leading cause, it said, was improvised explosive devices, including mines used by insurgent groups. The second-leading cause, according to the report, was fighting between insurgents and Afghan forces.

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