Roadside bomb kills 10 Afghan civilians
KABUL: At least ten Afghan civilians were killed and several wounded on Thursday when their van was hit by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province, officials said.
Roadside and other bombs are by far the most lethal weapons deployed by Taliban insurgents and are responsible for most of the war casualties suffered among Afghan security forces, foreign troops and civilians. The incident occurred in the Nahr-e-Saraj district of Helmand, a Taliban stronghold and one of the country's most dangerous provinces, said provincial governor spokesman Dawood Ahmadi.
The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement that Afghan and foreign troops provided medical assistance at the scene and evacuated the wounded.
Violence is at its worst in Afghanistan since U.S.-backed Afghan troops ousted the Taliban in 2001, with record deaths on all sides of the near- decade long conflict. The number of foreign troops killed this year has passed 700. The United Nations said this month there were 6,215 civilian casualties in conflict-related incidents in Afghanistan, including 2,412 deaths and 3,803 injuries, between January and the end of October this year. The report said casualties rose by 20 percent in the first ten months of the year compared to 2009, and held Taliban and other militant groups responsible for 76 percent of the deaths or injuries suffered by civilians.
A blast at a Chinese pharmaceutical factory has killed at least five people and injured eight others.
The official Xinhua News Agency reported Thursday that a fire at a factory belonging to the Quanxin Pharmaceutical Co. in southwestern China's Yunnan province caused the blast. It did not immediately give any other details. Workplace accidents are common in China, with thousands dying every year in part because of lax enforcement of safety rules. -Ap/Reuters