Suicide bombing in Afghanistan’s Kandahar city kills 3

Published March 21, 2024
An Afghan security personnel checks a vehicle near the site of a suicide bomb attack in Kandahar on March 21, 2024. A suicide bombing killed three people and wounded 12 others on March 21 in the Afghan city of Kandahar, a provincial official said, the heartland of the Taliban authorities that rule the country.—AFP
An Afghan security personnel checks a vehicle near the site of a suicide bomb attack in Kandahar on March 21, 2024. A suicide bombing killed three people and wounded 12 others on March 21 in the Afghan city of Kandahar, a provincial official said, the heartland of the Taliban authorities that rule the country.—AFP

A suicide bombing killed three people and wounded 12 others on Thursday in the Afghan city of Kandahar, a provincial official said, the heartland of the Taliban authorities that rule the country.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, and while multiple explosions have been reported around the country since the start of the holy month of Ramazan on March 11, few have been confirmed by Taliban officials.

Afghanistan’s capital is Kabul but Supreme Leader Hibatullah Akhundzada lives in Kandahar city, for decades the stronghold of the Taliban movement.

“A suicide attack occurred in which three compatriots were killed and 12 others were wounded, according to preliminary information,” said Inamullah Samangani, director of information and culture of Kandahar province.

The explosion at around 8am targeted a group of people waiting outside the New Kabul Bank branch in central Kandahar city.

“Commonly our compatriots gather there to collect their salaries,” Samangani told AFP, adding that the “victims were civilians”.

Taliban authorities had surrounded the area outside the bank and did not let journalists close to the site.

However, an AFP journalist saw what appeared to be unconscious people or bodies being loaded into ambulances in the wake of the blast.

Firefighters and security personnel were clearing the area, where blood, scraps of clothes and shoes littered the ground.

Hospitals did not respond to requests for information, saying they had been told not to speak to the media.

Samangani said “the situation is under control” at one of the city’s hospitals where wounded were transported, denying that the need for blood donations was urgent as had circulated on social media.

“There is no such issue, and the wounded people are not in serious condition, they have superficial injuries,” he said in a message to journalists.

The number of bomb blasts and suicide attacks in Afghanistan has markedly declined since the Taliban ended their insurgency after seizing power in August 2021, ousting the US-backed government.

However, a number of armed groups — including the regional chapter of the banned militant Islamic State group — remain a threat.

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