Afghan suicide attack kills six, hurts 20 in south
A suicide bomber killed up to six Afghans and wounded 20 others in an attack outside a bank in the southern city of Kandahar as people were waiting to collect their salaries, officials said.
"The attack took place in the city of Kandahar near the New Kabul Bank branch," Javed Faisal, spokesman for the Kandahar provincial governor, told AFP.
He said both police and civilians waiting to collect their wages were among the victims.
"Tragically, the initial death toll shows we have six dead and 20 wounded in this crowded part of the city, and most of the victims were civilians, and they came to the bank for their daily business activities," a statement from Kandahar media office said.
Kandahar police spokesman Ahmad Zia Durrani gave the toll as five people killed and 22 wounded, saying seven of those injured were police officers and the rest were civilians.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. Afghan officials often blame Taliban insurgents, who are waging a nearly 12-year war against the US-backed government of President Hamid Karzai, for such attacks.
Southern Afghanistan is considered a hotbed of the Taliban insurgency, and the militants have a strong presence in Kandahar province.
Meanwhile, a roadside bomb attack hit a civilian vehicle in Sangin district of Helmand province on Friday evening, killing 12 civilians including a woman, Helmand government spokesman Omar Zwak told AFP.
Roadside bombs are one of the Taliban insurgents' most deadly weapons. The militants plant bombs to target Afghan security forces and the US-led international troops, but often they miss their targets -- and Afghan civilians pay the price.