Eleven members of an Afghan family were killed by a roadside bomb that struck their minibus in southern Afghanistan Saturday, a local official said.
The group -- five men, four women and two children -- were thought to be Afghan refugees returning from Pakistan through the volatile, remote province of Zabul.
The area borders Pakistan, where militants who strike in Afghanistan are known to have hideouts.
"Eleven civilians were killed after an IED (improvised explosive device) hit their vehicle today at 7:50 am (03:20 GMT)," deputy provincial governor Mohammad Jaan Rasulyar told Agence France Presse.
"They were en route to Ghazni province from Pakistan through Zabul's border area."
Roadside bombs planted by Taliban-led militants, who have been waging an insurgency against foreign forces for nearly 10 years, are a frequent cause of casualties among civilians, who are the biggest victims of the war in Afghanistan.
The United Nations said that 2,777 people were killed last year, the highest total since the war started in 2001.
The U.N. also said last month that the number of security incidents in Afghanistan this year since March was 51 percent higher than in the same period last year. Most attacks involved IEDs or armed clashes, it added.
Elsewhere in southern Afghanistan, four people were killed Friday by twin landmine blasts in Maruf district of volatile Kandahar province, one of the main focus points of the huge foreign forces' effort in Afghanistan.
"The first took place at around 9:00 pm killing two civilians who were crossing into a garden," said provincial police Chief General Abdul Razaq.
"After a crowd of people gathered to collect the bodies from the first blast, the second explosion took place, killing another two."
The latest civilian deaths are a reminder of the depth of the task facing the Afghan government as it takes increasing responsibility for security following the announcement of the first wave of foreign troop withdrawals.
There are around 150,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan, some 99,000 of them from the United States.
Limited withdrawals are due to start this month and President Barack Obama has said that 10,000 US troops will leave this year.
All foreign combat forces are due to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014 but the international community stresses it wants a long-term relationship with Afghanistan to support the war-torn, poverty-hit country beyond that.
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