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Suspected Taliban gunmen kill 15 in Afghanistan

Suspected Taliban gunmen kill 15 in Afghanistan

PanARMENIAN.Net - Suspected Taliban gunmen killed 15 people who were travelling by road in the central Afghan province of Ghor, BBC News reports.

The attackers stopped two minibuses, ordered the passengers out and shot them dead, the province's police chief said. The victims - including three women and a child - were from the minority Hazara community, which has been targeted by the Taliban in the past.

Growing numbers of civilians have been killed in Afghanistan this year. According to the UN, nearly 5,000 civilians were killed in the first six months of 2014 - a rise of almost a quarter on the same period in 2013.

Abdul Hai Khatibi, a spokesman for the governor of Ghor province, told AFP that the attackers had "ordered all passengers to stand in one line, and then they shot them dead one by one".

The spokesman was quoted as saying that one man managed to flee the attack. A newly married couple were among the dead.

Ghor province has been relatively stable and loyal to the government, the BBC says.

On Thursday, July 24, gunmen in Afghanistan shot dead two Finnish women working for a Christian aid charity in the western city of Herat.

A local governor said the women had been travelling by taxi when gunmen on a motorcycle fired on their vehicle.

The attacks come at a tense time for Afghanistan. The majority of foreign troops are preparing to leave by the end of the year, and votes are being rechecked in a fiercely disputed presidential election to choose a successor to Hamid Karzai.

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