Bomb Blast Kills Two Children in Helmand province

KABUL:(MEP) – Local Helmand officials on Sunday confirmed a bomb blast near the home of Malem Baredad, a local school teacher, and said the explosion resulted in the deaths of two of his children, TOLO news reported.

“The incident took place in the Sangin district of the province on Saturday at around 8:00am,” said Omar Zwak, spokesman of the Provincial Governor.

Mr. Zwak added that the police have started investigating the incident. However, no arrests have been made yet.

“We believe that the Taliban is behind the blast. Baredad had received threats from the Taliban to leave his job, but he did not listen to them and continued working,” Mr. Zwak added.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

Sangin district is considered to be one of the most insecure districts in the embattled province. Insurgents frequently target local teachers in an effort to disrupt the education process, which they consider to be a threat to the youth.

Last month, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) released its mid-year report titled-“Mid-Year Report (2013) on Civilian Casualties Due to Armed Conflict in Afghanistan.” The report cited a 23 percent increase in civilian casualties as a result of armed conflict in Afghanistan.

Escalating deaths and injuries to Afghan children, women and noncombatant men led to the 23 percent surge in civilian casualties in the first six months of 2013. The mid-year report documented 1,319 civilian deaths and 2,533 injuries (3,852 casualties) from January to June 2013, marking a 14 percent increase in deaths, 28 percent increase in injuries and 23 percent increase in total civilian casualties compared to the same period in 2012.

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