MAZAR-I-SHARIF, Afghanistan, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- At least nine civilians were killed after a roadside bomb struck a minibus in Afghanistan's northern province of Balkh on Sunday, local police confirmed.
"Nine innocent civilians were killed following an improvised explosive device (IED) attack in surrounding areas of the northwestern Dawlat Abad district in Balkh province on Sunday morning," Abdul Razaq Qadiri, deputy provincial police chief, told Xinhua.
The dead were shifted to the district hospital and next of kin of the victims were notified of the incident, the police official added.
He blamed enemies of peace, referring to the Taliban militant group, for the attack.
Taliban militants have been using IEDs to make roadside bombs and landmines targeting security forces, but the lethal home-made weapons also inflict casualties on civilians.
The Afghan civilians continue to bear the brunt of armed conflicts as more than 1,360 civilians were killed and over 2,440 others injured in conflict-related incidents in the first six months of this year, according to figures released by the UN mission in Afghanistan.