Bomb blasts in southern Afghanistan kill 3

AP News
Posted: Oct 03, 2011 4:57 AM
Bomb blasts in southern Afghanistan kill 3

A motorcycle-rickshaw packed with explosives blew up as it was driving on the outskirts of southern Afghanistan's main city Monday, killing two civilians, officials said.

The driver of the motorcycle appeared to be on his way to Kandahar city when the bomb detonated inadvertently, said Kandahar provincial government spokesman Zalmai Ayubi.

The explosion, which killed two bystanders and wounded more than 10 others, did not appear to be a targeted attack, according to Ayubi and Provincial Police Chief Gen. Abdul Raziq.

However, a government minister says his car was nearby when the bomb went off, suggesting that he may have been the target. Border and Tribal Affairs Minister Asadullah Khalid said on Afghan television that he was driving toward development projects in Kandahar when the bomb exploded near his vehicle. He was not injured.

Civilian deaths have increased greatly in Afghanistan in recent years, largely because of insurgent bomb attacks.

Also Monday, a suicide bomber in an army uniform tried to force his way into the branch of Kabul Bank, which pays military salaries, on an army base in Kandahar city. A soldier guarding the entrance saw the explosives strapped to the man's body and started shooting at him, killing the attacker but also detonating the bomb strapped to his body, said Gen. Mohammad Zahir Azimi, a spokesman for the Afghan Defense Ministry.

The attacker was killed, along with the soldier who shot him, Azimi said. Two other soldiers were wounded.