South Asia

Civilians killed in Afghanistan blast

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A roadside bomb has killed five civilians in southern Afghanistan, government officials have said.

Those killed include two children. All the victims were passengers in a minivan.

The attack took place in Sangin district in Helmand province.

It is not known who carried out the attack, but the area on Pakistan's border is a stronghold of the Taliban and al-Qaeda militants.

Helmand provincial spokesman Daud Ahmadi told the AFP news agency that the minivan "struck a Taliban-planted mine".

Correspondents say says roads are increasingly in the front line of the war in Afghanistan.

Civilian and military casualties are at levels not seen for a decade - last year more than 2,400 civilians died, with roadside bombs the biggest source of casualties.