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A member of the Afghan security force looks into a car, which was damaged after a blast in the eastern city of Jalalabad, in Nangarhar province July 12, 2014. REUTERS/Parwiz

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KANDAHAR Afghanistan (Reuters) - Eight civilians including five women were killed when a roadside bomb blew up their vehicle in southern Afghanistan, local officials said on Saturday.

The United Nations said this week that the Afghan war was inflicting an increasingly devastating toll on civilians, with the number of casualties rising by almost a quarter in the first half of this year.

"They were travelling from Pajwai district to Kandahar city to visit a doctor and do some shopping for the upcoming Eid al-Fitr (Muslim holiday)," said Dawa Khan Minapal, a spokesman for provincial governor.

"But their vehicle was targeted by a roadside bomb freshly planted by the Taliban and this tragedy happened."

He added: "Their dead bodies are still in the area and police have already transferred two wounded children from the incident to a provincial hospital".

The incident took place days after the Taliban ordered their men to avoid targeting civilians.

"We have to be very careful when planting roadside bombs targeting the enemy and we have to consider ordinary lives," a Taliban statement said on July 4.

In a similar incident in the eastern city of Jalalabad two people were killed when a remote control bomb went off. The target was an army vehicle but it escaped unharmed, said Abdul Zia Abdulzai, a spokesman for the provincial governor.

(Reporting by: Sayed Sarwar Amani in Kandahar and Rafiq Shirzad in Jalalabad Writing by Mirwais Harooni Editing by Maria Golovnina and Michael Perry)

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