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Afghan wedding guests die in blast

Nineteen people have been killed on their way to a wedding in northern Afghanistan when a roadside bomb wrecked their minibus.

Police said 16 people were wounded.

The group was travelling to Dawlat Abad district, about 450 kilometres (270 miles) north-west of the capital, Kabul.

Six children and seven women were among the dead in the blast, which occurred at 6am after a night-time police patrol.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai strongly condemned the attack. "Planting a mine on a road used by civilians and the killing of innocent people represents hostility toward humanity," he said in a statement

Earlier this month, the UN Security Council expressed serious concern at the high number of civilian casualties in the war, especially among women and children.

The Taliban and other militants are responsible for the overwhelming majority of civilian deaths in the country. About 77% of the deaths between January and June can be attributed to insurgents, a UN report said.

Insurgent-placed homemade bombs continue to be the deadliest weapon for civilians, accounting for 29% of all such deaths in the period, it said.

Separately, six football fans died and 36 were wounded today when their bus collided with a fuel tanker on a narrow road about 400 kms (240 miles) north-west of the capital.

The fans were travelling to Kabul for the final round of the country's football championships.

www.isaf.nato.int/ (International Security Assistance Force)

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