Angry Afghans chop off ears of roadside bomb suspect

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Angry residents in the southern Afghan province of Helmand on Thursday chopped off the ears of a man accused of planting a roadside bomb that killed two civilians, an official said.

Two teenagers were killed and six others, including three children, were wounded earlier on Thursday when a blast tore through their vehicle in Garmser district, Helmand provincial spokesman Daud Ahmadi said.

"Following the incident the residents of the area arrested the alleged mine planter and wanted to hang him in public," Ahmadi said.

Police and the local district governor were forced to intervene to save the man's life, but the furious residents had already cut off his ears, Ahmadi said.

More than 3,000 civilians were killed in the war in Afghanistan in 2011, according to the United Nations, with Taliban insurgents blamed for the bulk of the deaths.

"This is a warning for those who kill our people every day, we won't tolerate their actions any more," a resident of the area, Mullah Mansoor, said.

Crude and cheaply made improvised bombs are the Taliban's favourite weapon in their decade-long war against Afghan and NATO forces but they often miss their targets and hit civilians using the same roads.

The Taliban were in power between 1996 and 2001 but were toppled in a US-led invasion for sheltering Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden after the September 11 attacks on the United States.

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