KABUL — Eighteen people were killed in eastern Afghanistan on their way to a wedding on Sunday evening when a roadside bomb exploded the minibus they were travelling in, a government official said.
The bomb went off around 4:30 p.m. local time (8:00 a.m. ET) and killed mostly women and some children as they made their way to the Andar district of the Ghazni province for the occasion, Shafiq Nang, a spokesperson at the Governor's Office in Ghazni told NBC News.
Two men were killed in the attack, Nang said. Five others were wounded, he said.
Ghazni is known as the "culture capital" of Afghanistan but is also prone to Taliban attacks.
The Taliban did not immediately claim responsibility, although it usually denies having a hand in attacks that kill civilians. The local government said, however, it believed the insurgency was to blame.
Improvised explosive devices, like the latest bomb that struck the wedding party, are the single biggest killer in the Afghan conflict, causing over a third of civilian casualties in the first six months of the year, according to a U.N. report.
Although roadside bombs kill civilians almost daily in Afghanistan, Sunday's death toll was unusually high.
Fazul Rahim and Reuters contributed to this report
Naweed Haqjoo / EPA
An Afghan girl who was injured in a bomb blast receives medical treatment at a hospital in Ghazni, Afghanistan, 27 October 2013.
First published October 27 2013, 8:54 AM