Roadside bomb blast kills 7 civilians in Afghanistan: official

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The incident occurred in the morning after a minibus touched off a roadside bombing in Marja district, Helmand province, spokesman Omar Zwak told Xinhua.

The bus was carrying 10 people, three commuters aboard were also injured after the blast, he said, blaming enemies of Afghanistan, a term referring to the Taliban militant group for the incident.

The Afghan army found and destroyed 117 rounds of IEDs within the past 24 hours across the country, Defense Ministry said earlier on Sunday.

KABUL, Dec. 24 (Xinhua) -- At least seven civilians were killed in a roadside bomb explosion in Afghanistan's southern province of Helmand on Sunday, provincial government spokesman said.

Some 2,640 civilians were killed and over 5,370 others injured in conflict-related incidents in the first nine months of the year, according to United Nations mission in the country.

Taliban and Islamic State (IS) fighters have been using home-made Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) to make roadside bombs and landmines to target security forces, but the lethal weapons also inflict casualties on civilians.

The IED explosions were the third largest cause of civilians' casualties, following ground fighting and suicide attacks, while unexploded ordnance and explosive remnants of war also frequently cause casualties among the Afghans elsewhere in the country.