KABUL, Afghanistan -- A roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan on Friday killed eight civilians, including three women and three children, according to a provincial police chief.

The vehicle in which they were riding was destroyed and its driver killed when it struck the buried bomb Friday morning, Ghulam Gelani Farahee, deputy police chief for Zabul province, said in a telephone interview. Seven of the eight victims were members of the same family, he said.

He blamed the explosion on Taliban militants, who routinely bury homemade explosive devices on roadways used by Afghan and foreign military forces.

The bomb exploded near the city of Qalat, about three miles from the main highway linking the capital, Kabul, with southern Afghanistan, where the Taliban control much of the countryside. Roadside bombings are common in the region, often targeting North Atlantic Treaty Organization soldiers or Afghan security forces.

On Oct. 27, a roadside bomb in the eastern province of Ghazni killed 18 Afghan civilians in a minivan en route to a wedding.

According to United Nations statistics, the majority of Afghan civilians killed in the 12-year war have died as a result of insurgent attacks.

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david.zucchino@latimes.com

Baktash is a special correspondent.