Deadly suicide blast targets security convoy
At least eight people were killed and 24 injured by a suicide bomb blast in the city of Gardez in eastern Afghanistan. The attacker was targeting a private security convoy, a government spokesperson said.
AFP - A suicide bomber wearing an explosives-filled vest Thursday killed eight people and wounded 24 others while targeting a private security convoy in an eastern Afghan town, an official said.
"This was a suicide attack. So far we know that eight people are dead, but that figure could change," said Rohullah Samon, a spokesman for the governor of Paktia province.
The attack happened in Gardez, the provincial capital, at 4:30 pm (1200 GMT) outside a branch of the Kabul Bank when the suicide bomber approached on foot.
"The head of a security company... was moving with his convoy when he was attacked by a suicide bomber wearing a suicide vest," Samon said.
He said the dead included the security company manager, two of his guards, two butchers and two young girls.
"All were killed on the spot," he said, adding that 24 other civilians were wounded.
Suicide attacks are a hallmark of the Taliban, who are waging an increasingly virulent insurgency aimed at toppling the Afghan government in Kabul and destabilising the rest of the impoverished country.
NATO and the United States have deployed 113,000 in Afghanistan to fight the militants, who are concentrated in the south and east of the country, but are spreading their footprint further north and west.
Another 40,000 troops are due to arrive in the country this year, and the Taliban have vowed to match the international surge with one of their own.
In recent weeks, attacks have escalated, with civilians bearing the greatest burden of Taliban tactics, which also include remote-controlled bombs.