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Death toll in Afghan roadside blast rises to 30

RIA Novosti

17:23 29/09/2009 KABUL, September 29 (RIA Novosti) - The death toll from Tuesday's roadside blast in the southern Afghan Kandahar province has risen to 30, with 39 people injured, local police said in a statement.

"The bus was en route from the Herat province to the city of Kandahar, when it hit a mine at 10:30 a.m. local time [06:00 GMT] in Kandahar province's Maiwand district. Ten children, seven women and 13 men died as the result of a blast," the statement said.

Earlier, the Kandahar provincial council reported 12 dead and 15 injured.

Violence has surged in Afghanistan in recent months, with the radical Islamic Taliban group, toppled in a 2001 U.S.-led campaign, staging regular attacks on provincial government officials, police and civilians and planting roadside devices as part of the battle with U.S. and NATO troops. But the bombs kill far more Afghan civilians than soldiers.

According to the United Nations, more than 1,500 civilians were killed in January-August as the result of military operations in Afghanistan.

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