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AFGHANISTAN

Blast rocks hydropower plant

2 min

Several people are feared dead after an explosion damaged a hydropower plant in the southern Afghani province of Helmand. The origin of the blast is not yet known.

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Several people were feared dead after an explosion rocked a small hydropower plant in a troubled southern Afghanistan province on Saturday, a district chief said.

Four people have been evacuated from the building with injuries and were in a local clinic in Gereshk district in Helmand province, district chief Abdul Manaf told AFP. However, more people were believed to still be inside.

It was not immediately clear what caused the explosion at the plant, Manaf said, though he did not rule out the possibility of a bomb.

The extremist Taliban, which frequently carry out bombings as part of their insurgency, is most active in Helmand, Afghanistan's largest province which also produces most of its world-leading illegal opium crop.

The Taliban were in government between 1996 and 2001, when they were ousted for harbouring Al-Qaeda leaders.

The militants target Afghan and international security forces as well as government officials and institutions, though mostly civilians die in the violence.

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