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Bomb kills three children in south Afghanistan: officials

KANDAHAR: Three children were killed on Saturday when a bomb exploded in the restive southern Afghan city of Kandahar, officials said.

The victims, all under the age of 10, had entered an empty shop to shelter from the hot summer sun when a bomb hidden inside went off, killing three and wounding six other children, according to provincial police spokesman Zia Durani.

“The explosives had been hidden in the shop and went off as the kids, all students of a nearby madrassa, tried to get rest in it,” Durani said.

A spokesman for the provincial governor confirmed the blast, blaming the Taliban, who have been waging a bloody insurgency since late-2001.

The insurgents launched a countrywide offensive in late April, stepping up attacks on government and foreign targets in what is expected to be the bloodiest fighting season in a decade.

The Taliban, who promised to “safeguard” civilian lives during their offensive, are known to distance themselves from attacks that result in high civilian casualties.

The surge in insurgents attacks has taken a heavy toll on ordinary Afghans, according to the UN mission in Afghanistan.

Almost 1,000 civilians were killed during the first four months of this year, a sharp jump from the same period last year, it said. -AFP

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