A roadside bomb in Afghanistan killed a pregnant woman and three of her relatives when it ripped through the ambulance rushing them to hospital for her to give birth, officials said Monday.
Taliban insurgents were responsible for planting the homemade bomb in northern Sari Pul province, which is regularly hit by insurgent activity, interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi told AFP.
"The woman was being taken to hospital to give birth. Along the road their vehicle struck a mine, planted by the Taliban, and she was killed. Three of her relatives travelling with her were also killed," he said.
A provincial official confirmed the incident and said the vehicle in which they were travelling was an ambulance.
The Taliban regularly use improvised roadside bombs to target Afghan and Western military forces, but they often kill civilians who use the same roads.
For the past five years the number of civilians killed in the war has risen steadily, reaching a record of 3,021 in 2011 -- with the vast majority caused by insurgents, the United Nations says.