(Reuters) - A roadside bomb killed at least 13 Afghan civilians, including women and children, and wounded two on Thursday in the south of the country, provincial officials said.
Security is a major concern as Afghan forces increasingly take over responsibility from NATO-led soldiers in the lead up to the withdrawal of most foreign combat troops by the end of 2014.
“The mine was newly planted by the Taliban and went off when a civilian car went over it,” said Farid Hayel, a spokesman for Uruzgan province police chief.
Four women and nine children were killed, he said.
More than 3,000 civilians were killed in the war in Afghanistan in 2011, the fifth year in a row the number has risen, according to the United Nations.
Bombs planted on roads, and increasingly deadly suicide attacks that targeted civilians, killed more people than any other type of attack in 2011 as Taliban militants battled the Western-backed government after a decade of war.
Reporting by Ismail Sameem in Kandahar; Editing by Robert Birsel