At least seven more Afghan civilians have been killed and 14 wounded in Helmand Province, this time by a roadside bomb – a weapon widely used by Taliban insurgents.
The explosives were attached to a bicycle that was left outside a government building in the provincial capital Lashkar Gar, according to a municipal spokesman.
The latest deaths came just a day after the Afghan government condemned the NATO-led international force in Afghanistan for killing 27 civilians they mistook for Taliban fighters in a neighbouring province.
The blast in Lashkar Gar highlights the scale of the challenge facing NATO and Afghan government troops, to stabilise the country and keep citizens safe.
Thousands of American and British troops, with Afghan forces alongside are in the tenth day of Operation Moshtarak, a major push to dislodge Taliban from their last big strongholds in the country’s most violent province, Helmand.
But civilian and military casulaties have hit record highs since the invasion in 2001. And some Afghan MPs have warned that when civilians die, the Taliban gets stronger.