At least nine people were killed across Afghanistan on Wednesday, including two children who were struck by a bomb blast while gathering firewood, officials said.

The fatal blast took place in the Zhari district of the southern Kandahar province. A separate bomb blast in the Shahwali Kot district of Kandahar wounded another 10 children, leaving seven in critical condition, said Samim Khopalwaq, the spokesman for Kandahar’s governor.

“Our children were there to collect wood to burn when they were hit by this bomb,” said Bismallah Jan, the father of one of the wounded children. “The government should have cleared the area, it their duty to protect us.”

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