Ten civilians were killed and seven others wounded Thursday when the van carrying them detonated a land mine in the southern Afghan province of Helmand, police told Efe.

The blast took place around 7:00 a.m. as the victims were on their way to a wedding, Mohammed Satar said.

The fatalities included a child.

Another mine exploded Thursday in the eastern province of Laghman, killing five Afghan soldiers who were part of a passing military convoy, a spokesman for the provincial government told Efe.

Back in Helmand, three police perished in a suicide attack at a highway checkpoint.

Taliban fighters often resort to suicide bombings and planting mines on roads in their struggle against the Kabul government and its foreign allies, but many of the casualties from such attacks are civilians.

The civilian death toll from the Afghan conflict in the first six months of the year was 1,145, down 15 percent from the same period last year, according to the U.N. Mission in Kabul.

The foreign troops - mostly from the United States and other NATO countries - serving with the International Security Assistance Force are due to withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of 2014. EFE