The Washington Post06/06/2012By Sayed Salahuddin[Printer Friendly Version]
KABUL — At least 22 civilians were killed after two suicide bombers detonated explosives attached to their bodies at a bazaar in Afghanistan’s southern Kandahar province Wednesday, officials said.
The incident also wounded more than 50 civilians, according to Ahmad Javed Faisal, a spokesman for Kandahar’s governor. The market, located on the main highway leading to Pakistan, is often used as a resting spot or parking lot for drivers carrying supplies for foreign troops. The drivers also deliver to the key U.S. base in southern Afghanistan, further down the same road.
Some of the supply drivers were among the casualties of the suicide bombings, a provincial official said by phone.
The target of the attack was unclear. Faisal said there were no Afghan or foreign troops at the market at the time of the attack to suggest that they were the target of the bombers.
Taliban-led insurgents in the past have often targeted convoys ferrying goods for the U.S. and NATO troops based in Afghanistan. A spokesman for the Taliban said the attack was conducted by Islamic guerrillas, whose goal is to drive foreign forces out of Afghanistan. But he denied the loss of civilians in the bombings, saying all those killed were foreign troops.
The deaths were the bloodiest in weeks in Afghanistan, which has seen an overall drop in violence compared to the same period last year.