Four girls died Thursday when one of them stepped on a landmine while they were getting water from a stream in the southern Afghan province of Helmand, an official told Efe.

The explosion occurred about 7:30 a.m. in the Zabar zone of Lashkargah, the regional capital, the Helmand governor's spokesman, Omar Zwak, said.

"The girls were between 10 and 12 years old and the bodies of two of them were in pieces," Zwak said.

The children had attended a wedding in the area and left for a few moments to get water from a nearby stream.

The spokesman said the Taliban insurgents were responsible for the incident and added that a team had been sent to investigate.

Also in Lashkargah, several armed men on Thursday attacked a woman, identified as Islam Bibi, who was working for the criminal investigation department in Helmand.

Bibi died in the attack and her nephew, who was accompanying her at the time, was wounded.

Homemade bombs and mines are one of the Taliban's preferred methods of harassing Afghan and international security forces.

In practice, however, such attacks cause a high number of civilian casualties. EFE