roadside blast in BadghisAt least 16 people were killed in two separate explosions in northwestern Badghis province of Afghanistan, local officials said.

The first incident took place on Wednesday morning in Bala Murghab district after an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) targeted a group of youths as they were on their way to an opium field for labor work.

The second incident took place hours after the first blast and targeted another group of youths in Qads district, leaving at least 11 people dead.

According to the local officials, the young men were going to lance the opium when they were targeted by IEDs planted by anti-government armed militant groups.

No group including the Taliban insurgents has so far claimed responsibility behind the two explosions.

Taliban militants and insurgents belonging to the other militant groups are frequently using Improvised Explosive Device (IED) as the weapon of their choice to target the security force.

The IEDs are the main contributors to the casualties of the Afghan security forces but are also considered as a key factor in growing civilian casualties.

At least 600 civilians were killed and 1,343 others were wounded in the first quarter of 2016, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said in its latest report.

UNAMA further added that consistent with 2015 trends, ground engagements caused the highest number of total civilian casualties, followed by improvised explosive devices (IEDs), complex and suicide attacks, as well as targeted killings.

According to UNAMA, actions by Anti-Government Elements caused at least 60 per cent of casualties while Pro-Government Forces caused at least 19 per cent


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