Bombs, rocket kill 11 Afghan civilians

Bomb blasts and a rocket attack have killed 11 civilians including at least four children in the space of 24 hours in southern Afghanistan, officials said Saturday.

A roadside bomb ripped through a pickup truck Saturday in the Chora district of Uruzgan province killing six people, provincial police spokesman Jawed Faisal told AFP.

"All six civilians on board were killed and their vehicle was destroyed," he said.

On the same day a bomb exploded in the Gereshk district of southern Afghanistan's volatile Helmand province, killing one child and wounding another, a statement from the provincial media office said.

In the same district on Friday a bomb blast killed three children and wounded two others, the statement said.

Meanwhile, a rocket attack Saturday targeting the governor's office in the southwestern province of Farah killed one civilian and wounded 26 others, officials said.

Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) planted on Afghan roads are a common insurgent tactic but they frequently miss their intended target -- Afghan and NATO troops -- resulting in civilian deaths.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombings but officials in Uruzgan and Helmand blamed them on the "enemies of Afghanistan", a standard phrase used to refer to the Taliban.

Thousands of Afghan civilians have been killed in the decade-long insurgency being waged by the Taliban to topple the US-backed government of President Hamid Karzai.

According to the United Nations, the number of civilians killed in the war has risen steadily in the past five years, reaching a record 3,021 in 2011 -- the vast majority caused by insurgents.

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