KABUL: A 13-year-old Afghan forced by militants to plant a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan was killed when it exploded, the interior ministry said today.

The child died while placing the improvised explosive device on a road in the Zahri district of southern Kandahar province, where Taliban influence is concentrated, the ministry said in a statement. “A 13-year-old child, under the influence of terrorists, planted a mine under a culvert on Friday... that went off and killed the child,” it said. The ministry condemned the “terrorists” — by which it meant Taliban militants — for using the child to “achieve their grim objectives”. “This action is against Islamic and human values. The interior ministry strongly condemns this barbaric action.”