More than 10 Afghan civilians were killed and several others were hurt in an explosion caused by insurgents Thursday in southern Afghanistan's volatile Helmand province, officials said.
International forces put the death toll at more than 10, while provincial spokesman Daud Ahmadi told AFP that the number of dead and injured was 16 and the incident happened when a minivan hit a mine.
"A minivan hit a roadside mine in Sangin district this morning, 16 people have been killed and injured in the blast," Ahmadi said.
"The civilians were travelling from Gereshk to Sangin district when their vehicle hit the mine."
The area where the blast took place is a traditional Taliban stronghold which international forces are battling to secure as part of their nine-year battle against the Islamist militants.
Meanwhile, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement: "More than 10 Afghan civilians were killed and several others were wounded in an explosion triggered by insurgents in a crowded area of Nahr-e Saraj district, Helmand province today.
"Afghan National Security and International Security Assistance Forces responded to the scene of the blast to provide medical assistance and evacuate wounded."