Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Deaths in Afghanistan suicide bombings

Map of Afghanistan with Herat highlighted
Map of Afghanistan with Herat highlighted (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Separate explosions near government offices in Herat and Helmand provinces kill police and civilians in Afghanistan.

Two separate attacks in Afghanistan's west and south have left at least 22 people killed and another 34 wounded, according to local police.

A Toyota 4x4 vehicle with two people inside, detonated a cache of explosives on the road from Herat International Airport to the Guzara district of western Herat province according to the Afghan interior ministry.

Al Jazeera's Bernard Smith, reporting from Kabul, said the vehicle drove through a checkpoint on a bridge two kilometres ahead of its target and ignored two orders to stop before the explosives were detonated.

"The explosion was so strong  there are causalities among police and civilians", said Nasar Ahmad Popul, the chief of the province's Guzara district, who was inside the building at the time of the attack.

Mohiddin Noori, spokesman for the provincial governor, said six civilians and three policeman were among the nine reported deaths.

"The number of casualties may rise," Noori said of the attack, which came ahead of the traditional summer fighting

The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the blast, saying a police gunshot led to the detenonation that claimed so many civilian lives.

The building, home to the offices of the district police chief and district administrative chief, also suffered damages said Popul.

The attack took place as people were gathered outside the building waiting to see government officials about various matters inside.

A reporter for the AFP news agency on the scene said he saw shattered bodies lying among rubble and mangled pieces of metal after the bombing.

The responsibility for nearly all of Herat province has been transferred, or is in the process of being transferred, from NATO troops to Afghan forces.

Helmand attack

Elswhere in the country, local security sources tell Al Jazeera that eight police officers have been killed after three suicide bombers entered police headquarters in the southern province of Helmand.

Two of the bombers in Tuesday's attack were able to blow themselves up inside the old police headquarters in Musa Qala. A third bomber was shot before his vest could be detonated.

Another 12 people were injured in the attack in the building that now serves as accomodations for police officers and the chief of police's family.

The Taliban have also claimed responsibility for the attack in the volatile southern province.

from AlJazeera
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