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May 26, 2017

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Taliban deny their bombs cause most Afghan deaths

KABUL, Afghanistan--The Taliban are dismissing as "Western propaganda" U.N. reports that their roadside bombs are causing the bulk of civilian casualties in the war in Afghanistan.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed in a statement Sunday that the guerillas only use improvised explosive devices to target foreign troops and the Afghan security forces. He said such the U.N. reports are aimed at preventing the guerrillas from using the weapons that have caused about half of the casualties suffered by coalition forces.

On Saturday, the U.N. mission in Afghanistan urged the insurgents to end the use of roadside bombs, saying they were by far the biggest killer of civilians in the conflict. The call came a day after 19 civilians died when their bus struck a landmine in northern Balkh province.

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