FARAH, Afghanistan, March 4 (Xinhua) -- At least eight Afghan civilians were killed and 20 others wounded after a vehicle touched off a roadside bomb in the country's western province of Farah on Friday, a local official said Saturday.
"The gruesome incident took place in Bala Buluk district late Friday when the victims were fleeing their houses following a ground engagement between security forces and Taliban militants," provincial government spokesman Mohammad Nasir Mehri told Xinhua.
The initial information found the blast was caused by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED), which was planted by militants along the dusty road, he said, adding the local authorities had conducted a thorough investigation into the incident.
"Further information will be shared after the ongoing probe by provincial authorities and military officials," Mehri noted.
Many of the injured remained in critical condition and among the victims were several women and children.
The province with Farah city as its capital, 695 km west of Kabul, has been the scene of heavy clashes over the past couple of months as Taliban militants have been trying to seize control of the restive province.
The Afghan civilians continue to bear the brunt of conflicts as more than 3,490 civilians were killed and over 7,920 others injured in conflict-related incidents across the country last year, according to figures released by the UN mission in the country.