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Suicide blast kills 17 in Afghan bazaar PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 19 April 2008

REUTERS, KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - At least 17 people, including two police officers, died on Thursday when a suicide bomber blew himself up in a bazaar in the southwestern Afghan province Nimroz, the provincial governor said.

The attack happened near a mosque in Nimroz's provincial capital Zaranj just after dusk, Ghula Dastagir Azad told Reuters.

"I can say that at least 17 people including two police officers have been killed and 35 have been wounded in this suicide attack," he told Reuters by phone from Zaranj.

He said children were among the victims of the attack, the latest example of increasing violence in Afghanistan following the traditional winter lull.

The governor said the attack, the bloodiest suicide blast this month in the country, was the work of "Afghanistan's enemies", a term often used by government officials for describing Taliban insurgents and al Qaeda allies.

Impoverished and remote Nimroz lies near the border with Iran. Two Indian road engineers were killed this week in the province in a suicide attack for which the Taliban claimed responsibility.

Earlier on Thursday, several dozen Taliban were killed in a series of clashes involving Afghan and foreign troops in two provinces to the southwest of Kabul, provincial officials said.

And two NATO soldiers were wounded when a remote-controlled blast hit their vehicle in an area near the border with Pakistan, an official from the region said.

The Taliban could not be contacted for comment about the suicide blast in Zaranj and the reports of the deaths of their own fighters. A spokesman earlier said the blast against NATO troops was the work of an al Qaeda-backed militant group.
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