Afghan bombings kill at least 46
Suicide attacks involving as many as 15 bombers killed at least 46 people and wounded dozens more Tuesday in Afghanistan.
Police say the latest explosion involves a motorcycle bomb outside a crowded bazaar in northern Afghanistan, which killed at least 10 people, including several children.
District police chief Hamid Agha says the motorcycle bomber struck in the early evening in the northern province of Kunduz as shoppers were rushing home for the meal ending the daily fast for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. He said five children were among the dead and at least 25 people were wounded.
Most of the carnage on Tuesday was focused in the southwestern province of Nimroz where death toll in the multiple suicide attacks on Tuesday killed at least 36.
The rash of bombings in Nimroz province came during a campaign by Taliban insurgents and their allies to ratchet up attacks as international troops hand over security to Afghan forces. NATO plans to withdraw most of its troops by the end of 2014.
Not all of the attackers were able to detonate their explosives belts, and police killed and captured several of them, officials said.
One explosion mid-afternoon was outside a hospital near a busy market packed with people shopping for feasts at the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which starts this weekend, officials said.
Nimroz Gov. Abdul Karim Barawi said there were three blasts in the city, but accounts by officials differed amid the chaos in the remote area that has had relatively few insurgent attacks in the past year.
'Most of the casualties were civilians'
At least 27 people were confirmed killed and 110 people wounded, and the death toll could climb higher, said the head of the Nimroz provincial health department, Noor Ahmad Shirzada.
"Most of the casualties were civilians," Shirzada said. He added that the suicide attacker outside the hospital appeared to have been attacking a passing police patrol but most of the damage was in a nearby market.
At least two attackers wearing suicide bomb vests and wielding weapons attacked the governor's compound but were killed by security forces before they could detonate their explosives, Nimroz police chief Musa Rasouli said.
Nimroz police officials said the various bombings involved up to 14 individuals, working as a group. Two of the plotters were killed by police on Monday night and three more were either killed or arrested Tuesday morning.
It was the first bombing of such magnitude in remote Nimroz province in years.
Nimroz, in the southwestern corner of Afghanistan, is not as regularly beset by insurgent attacks as Helmand and Kandahar to the east. The sparsely populated province is partly desert, and its government representatives have repeatedly complained that it is neglected by officials who are focused on its more volatile neighbors.
However, Nimroz has seen an increase in violence recently. On Saturday, an Afghan police officer killed 11 of his fellow officers in the remote Dilaram district of the province.