Seven Afghans died on Tuesday following explosions in north and central Afghanistan as insurgents worked to undermine the country’s weak government by stepping up attacks. Security forces appeared to be the targets in at least one of the attacks, but as frequently happen in the Afghan war, most of the deaths were of civilians.
A suicide bomber on a bicycle detonated his explosives, killing two civilians and wounding five Afghan policemen. The Ministry of Interior said a small child was among those killed at a bazaar in Chahar Bolak district.
Five other civilians died when their minibus hit a roadside bomb in Wardak province in central Afghanistan. Provincial spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said a 3-year-old child was among those killed in Sayd Abad district.
The U.N. said last year was the deadliest on record for civilians in the Afghan war, with 3,021 killed. The number of Afghan civilians killed dropped 36 percent in the first four months of this year compared with last year, but the U.N. laments that too many civilians are still being caught up in violence.
Anti-government forces, including the Taliban and other militants, were responsible for 79 percent of civilian casualties in the first four months of this year, the U.N. said. Afghan and foreign forces were responsible for 9 percent. It was unclear who was to blame for the remaining 12 percent.