Not less than 12 members of a family who were fleeing the raging war in Afghanistan were killed by a landmine blast in the eastern Paktia province, local police confirmed on Sunday.
The police command in Paktia said in a statement that the incident took place on Saturday night in the Sayed Karam district, which borders Pakistan’s Waziristan tribal belt.
According to the statement, the Taliban had littered the main roads with landmines before fleeing the district, and a vehicle carrying an unfortunate family hit one of these mines.
The Sayed Karam district was recaptured by the government forces after a brief fall to the Taliban.
Noor Jan, one of the ill-fated family’s relatives, told Anadolu Agency that three men, three women, and six children from his family were killed in the tragic incident.
“The Taliban have planted bombs everywhere… this is the fate of people like us who are fleeing for safety the areas where fighting is taking place,” he said.
The militant group made no comment on this incident.
Blaming the Taliban for a bulk of civilian casualties, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) documented an alarming 5,183 civilian casualties, 1,659 killed and 3,524 injured, in the first half of this year, a 47% increase compared with the same period in 2020.
UNAMA also expressed grim concerns over the increase in civilian casualties in mounting air raids by the Afghan forces in populated urban areas amid the Taliban’s advance on provincial capitals.