14 suicide bombers in Afghan attacks

2012-08-14 20:00
File (AP)

File (AP)

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Kabulf - Suicide attacks involving as many as 14 bombers killed at least 46 people and wounded dozens more on Tuesday in a south-western Afghan city that has been largely peaceful in recent years, officials said.

The brash bombings in Nimroz province came during a campaign by Taliban insurgents and their allies to ratchet up attacks as international troops hand over security to Afghan forces. Nato plans to withdraw most of its troops by the end of 2014.

Not all of the attackers were able to detonate their explosives belts, and police killed and captured several of them, officials said.

One explosion mid-afternoon on Tuesday was outside a hospital near a busy market packed with people shopping for feasts at the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which starts this weekend, officials said.

110 wounded

Nimroz Governor Abdul Karim Barawi said there were three blasts in the city, but accounts by officials differed amid the chaos in the remote area that has had relatively few insurgent attacks in the past year.

At least 46 people were confirmed killed and 110 people wounded, and the death toll could climb higher, said the head of the Nimroz provincial health department, Noor Ahmad Shirzada.

"Most of the casualties were civilians," Shirzada said. He added that the suicide attacker outside the hospital appeared to have been attacking a passing police patrol but most of the damage was in a nearby market.

At least two attackers wearing suicide bomb vests and wielding weapons attacked the governor's compound but were killed by security forces before they could detonate their explosives, Nimroz police chief Musa Rasouli said.

Different views

Nimroz deputy police chief Abdul Majid Latifa said 14 bombers in all were involved in the plot, while Rasouli put number at 11.

Both said that two of the plotters were killed by police on Monday night and three more were either killed or arrested on Tuesday morning, but their initial accounts of what happened on Tuesday afternoon differed.

It was the first bombing of such magnitude in remote Nimroz province in years.

Nimroz, in the south-western corner of Afghanistan, is not as regularly beset by insurgent attacks as Helmand and Kandahar to the east.

The sparsely populated province is partly desert, and its government representatives have repeatedly complained that it is neglected by officials who are focused on its more volatile neighbours.

However, Nimroz has seen an increase in violence recently.

On Saturday, an Afghan police officer killed 11 of his fellow officers in the remote Dilaram district of the province.

Read more on:    afghanistan  |  security

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