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Afghanistan - Kandahar bomb

Kandahar truck bomb kills at least 43

Article published on the 2009-08-26 Latest update 2009-08-26 17:12 TU

Security officials at the site of the bomb blast in Kandahar, 25 August 2009(Photo: Reuters)

Security officials at the site of the bomb blast in Kandahar, 25 August 2009
(Photo: Reuters)

A truck bomb exploded Tuesday in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar, the hometown of President Hamid Karzai, killing at least 43 people and injuring 65, almost all civilians. A series of blasts went off in the centre of the city near some government offices. It exploded a little after 7pm local time, as people were preparing to break the Ramadan fast.

“It’s unclear what their target was, though a number of civilians at a wedding hall were killed," said correspondent Jerome Starkey, in Kabul.

He reports that Ahmad Wali Karzai, President Hamid Karzai's brother, the local governor in Kandahar, said all the victims were women and children.

Q+A: Correspondent Jerome Starkey, Kabul

26/08/2009 by Daniel Finnan

A wedding hall and a dozen civilian houses "were totally destroyed in this terrorist explosion", said the Foreign Ministry.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said a 48-year-old water engineer was killed in his house when the ceiling of the room he was in collapsed in the blast.

“The ICRC is deeply shocked by the death of a much-loved colleague,” said the Red Cross in a statement.

The attack came hours after the electoral commission announced preliminary results from last week’s presidential election, giving Karzai a narrow lead, with just ten per cent of the vote reported.

The Taliban, which had vowed to disrupt the elections, has denied being involved in the attack

“The Taliban spokesman, who would normally represent the orders of Mullah Omar and Quetta Shura, which is the Taliban high command in Pakistan - they denied responsibility," said Starkey.

The Taliban has been known to deny attacks involving civilian casualties.

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