KANDAHAR  - A roadside bomb killed six civilians, mostly women and children, travelling in a motorised rickshaw in southern Afghanistan Thursday, police said.

"Tragically two women, three children and one man were killed in the explosion" in Spin Boldak district near the border with Pakistan, Kandahar provincial police chief Abdul Razeq told AFP. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but similar attacks are usually blamed on Taliban insurgents fighting to overthrow the Western-backed government of President Hamid Karzai.

The United Nations says 1,145 civilians were killed and 1,954 wounded in the war in the first six months of this year.

The UN blames 80 percent of the deaths on insurgents, saying more than half were caused by roadside bombs.

NATO has some 130,000 US-led troops helping the government fight the Taliban.