Afghanistan blast toll rises to 16 dead, 38 wounded

Elias Hubbard
May 23, 2018

The death toll from Tuesday's blast in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar has risen to at least 16 people, officials said, adding that 38 were wounded.

Earlier, three people were killed and 25 others were injured in the vehicle bomb blast, officials said.

Ahmadi explained that Afghan security forces had found two containers full of explosives but when they tried to defuse, the first one detonated and caused casualties.

The route of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline passes through large areas under Taliban control or influence.

Security forces in Kandahar had already cleared the area around a bus station where the van was found, provincial governor spokesperson Daud Ahmadi said. At least five children and 10 members of the security forces were among the wounded.

The explosives were found in a cluster of auto mechanic shops. An unidentified security official told AFP that the "terrorists planned to conduct a big attack" in Kandahar at the end of Ramzan.

No group immediately claimed responsibility.

Last week the insurgent group attacked western Farah city, but were repelled by commandos backed by the Afghan and US Air Force.

Hundreds of people have been killed or wounded in high-profile bomb attacks since the beginning of the year, many in the capital Kabul, but provincial cities have also been hit as the Taliban, seeking to reimpose hardline Islamic rule, have stepped up fighting across the country.

The latest fighting coincided with a U.S. government report that found few signs of progress so far this year, with fighting spreading across the country and hundreds of casualties from high profile attacks in Kabul and other cities.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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