KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) — A roadside bomb killed two children in southern Afghanistan on Monday while six bodies found the day before in the restive region where identified as policemen and not laborers, as was initially reported.
Deputy governor of southern Zabul province, Mohammed Jan Rasoolyar, said the confusion arose because the bodies found in neighboring Kandahar province were in civilian clothes. The policemen had disappeared several days earlier from Zabul.
Rasoolyar said that with limited means for forensic identification, it took the police nearly a full day to resolve the confusion.
The six policemen were abducted by the Taliban from Zabul and taken to Kandahar where their bodies were found on Sunday.
The Taliban have repeatedly warned Afghans against joining the government or the military and police forces. Hundreds of Afghan policemen have been killed this year in ambushes, targeted killings and bombings.
In Monday's explosion, the two children died when their family's vehicle hit a roadside bomb, Rasoolyar told The Associated Press. The family was travelling to the Zabul provincial capital of Qalat for shopping. The father was wounded along with a third child, Rasoolyar said.
Improvised explosive devises are among the deadliest weapons in the insurgents' arsenal but they often kill civilians.
Also Monday, police in Kandahar — the birthplace of the Taliban — stopped a tractor hauling improvised explosive devises, said Javid Faisal, the provincial governor's spokesman.
A firefight erupted as the police tried to stop the vehicle near the border with Pakistan, he said. The shooting ignited the devises, killing the driver and a second person on the tractor.