Mine blast kills 10 on Afghan wedding bus

/ Source: The Associated Press

A road mine blasted a bus carrying a wedding party in southern Afghanistan on Saturday, killing the bride, groom and eight other civilians, a police official said.

Provincial police chief Matiullah Khan blamed Taliban militants for planting the explosive in Spin Boldak district of the southern Kandahar province. He said 10 civilians were killed and six were wounded, and that children were among the victims.

A Taliban-led insurgency has engulfed much of southern and eastern Afghanistan, with more than 2,700 people — mostly militants — killed this year, according to an Associated Press tally of figures from Afghan and Western officials.

Meanwhile, officials said that U.S.-led coalition troops used airstrikes to kill more than a dozen Taliban fighters in southern Afghanistan. The troops were in a joint patrol with Afghan forces when their convoy was struck by a roadside bomb in Uruzgan province on Friday, the coalition said in a statement.

The joint force retaliated against the attackers and also called in the airstrikes, it said. There were no casualties among Afghan or coalition troops.

Militants regularly attack Afghan and foreign troops with roadside bombs. The number of insurgent attacks in eastern Afghanistan, which borders Pakistan, has risen by 40 percent this year over the same period in 2007.