Three children killed in roadside blast in western Afghanistan

Another 20 people wounded in the explosion that went off in a market in Herat province.

    UN said explosive devices killed 53 civilians and wounded 269 others in the first three months of 2019 [Linda Davidson/Getty Images]
    UN said explosive devices killed 53 civilians and wounded 269 others in the first three months of 2019 [Linda Davidson/Getty Images]

    Three children were killed when an explosive device attached to a motorbike went off in a market in Afghanistan's western province, an official said.

    Another 20 people were wounded in the incident on Saturday, which took place in Herat province's Oba district, according to provincial governor spokesman Jelani Farhad.

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    The target of the bombing is yet to be determined, but a remotely-controlled bomb went off when the district chief's vehicle was passing by the area's main market, according to Farhad.

    Earlier in the day Farhad spoke of five people killed, but then revised the toll to three.

    Elsewhere, in Kama district of Nangarhar province, five people including three civilians were wounded when an unknown man lobbed a hand grenade at a police checkpoint, provincial spokesman Ataullah Khogyani said.

    According to a quarterly report by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), explosive devices killed 53 civilians and left 269 others injured in the first three months of this year, a 21 percent increase from the same period last year.

    The figures do not include casualties from suicide bombings.

    UNAMA said it is "very concerned" by the increase in civilian casualties from the use of non-suicide improvised explosive devices, or IEDs.

    The Taliban, who was removed from power by US-led forces in 2001, has been waging a bloody rebellion against the country's Western-backed government.

    Pro-government forces have been struggling to combat the armed group, which holds sway over nearly half of the war-torn country.

    Civilians have repeatedly been caught up in the clashes, with UN statistics showing more than 32,000 killed and 60,000 injured in the past 10 years.

    SOURCE: News agencies