HERAT, Afghanistan (Reuters) - A suicide bomber killed at least nine people on Tuesday in Afghanistan's relatively peaceful western Herat province near the border with Iran, officials said.
The bomber blew up a car laden with explosives just outside the capital city of Heart, killing six civilians and three policemen, provincial governor spokesman Mohiddin Noori said.
"The number of casualties may rise," Noori said about the attack, which came ahead of the traditional summer fighting months.
Afghans and foreign governments alike were taken by surprise when residents in relatively quiet Herat took to the streets in February to protest against the accidental burning of Korans at a NATO air base that month.
U.S. reports last week said American officials believed Iranian agents had been active in trying to instigate the violence, which gripped the country for weeks.
As foreign combat troops prepare to withdraw by the end of 2014, attention is turning towards Afghanistan's neighboring nations, and what role they could play in the country's future.
(Reporting by Sharafuddin Sharafyar, writing by Amie Ferris-Rotman; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)