BAGHLAN, Afghanistan, Jan. 17 (UPI) -- The number of civilians killed in Afghanistan by roadside and other crude homemade bombs planted by insurgents is rising, experts say.
In the latest violence attributed to such attacks, at least 17 Afghans died in a 24-hour period, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday. Those killed in the attacks included nine people in a vehicle who died Sunday while en route to a wedding from Pul-i-Khumri, capital of Baghlan province north of Kabul.
The report said such crude bombs have become the greatest danger facing civilians although they are set up by the insurgents to kill Western troops.
Authorities say large parts of northern Afghanistan have become far more dangerous in the past year as Taliban insurgents are pushed out of their strongholds in the south and east.
The danger to civilians increases as family members and neighbors often travel together in overcrowded vehicles especially in rural areas. Military troops often use the road in Baghlan and the Taliban and other militants routinely use roadside improvised explosive devices against NATO and Afghan forces.
Baghlan was formerly a relatively peaceful region that has become more violent in recent months.