Afghanistan tragedy: Bomb kills 18 civilians on way to wedding

A woman holds the hands of a roadside-bomb victim at a hospital in the Andar district of Afghanistan's Ghazni province.
A woman holds the hands of a roadside-bomb victim at a hospital in the Andar district of Afghanistan’s Ghazni province.
(Rahmatullah Alizada / AFP/Getty Images)

KABUL, Afghanistan -- A roadside bomb in Afghanistan’s eastern Ghazni province killed 18 people and wounded five on their way to a wedding when the minivan they were riding in Sunday triggered the explosion, officials said.

In a statement, the Interior Ministry said the insurgent attack, which took place in Andar district around 4:30 p.m. local time, killed 14 women, one child and three men, while all five wounded were women.

The ministry said an investigation was underway into this “cruel act by enemies of the people of Afghanistan,” and expressed condolences to the victims’ families.

No group took immediate credit for the attack, although the Taliban is active in the area. In a statement, President Hamid Karzai’s office condemned the attack.


In a separate incident, a bomb exploded Sunday morning in the Arzan Qimat neighborhood of eastern Kabul, killing one civilian and wounding five Afghan National Army officers, said Mohammad Zahir Azimy, spokesman for the Afghan Defense Ministry.

In an email sent to journalists, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said the group claimed responsibility for the Kabul attack, adding that the device targeted a “Kabul puppet regime Defense Ministry bus,” killing six officers on the spot without harming other people.

The Taliban often exaggerates claims or takes responsibility for attacks it wasn’t involved in to further its propaganda campaign.

Foreign combat troops are scheduled to withdraw from Afghanistan by late 2014, and in recent months, Afghan forces have taken over more responsibility for national security.


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Special correspondent Baktash reported from Kabul and staff writer Magnier from New Delhi.