Bicycle bomb kills 2 people in Afghanistan

AP News
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Posted: Mar 19, 2014 12:10 PM
Bicycle bomb kills 2 people in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A bomb attached to a bicycle and detonated by remote control killed two people Wednesday in eastern Afghanistan, officials said.

The blast killed a police offer who was a criminal investigation director and a civilian in Ghazni, the capital of the province of the same name, the deputy provincial police chief said. Col. Asadullah Ensafi said the blast wounded three civilians.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack, but the Taliban and allied militants frequently target Afghan officials in their campaign to undermine the Western-backed government, and bombings are a major threat to both Afghan security forces and civilians across the country. The Islamic militant movement also has threatened to use force to disrupt Afghanistan's April 5 presidential elections.

Many Afghans rushed Wednesday to register at the last minute for the vote ahead of this week's Nowruz holiday, celebrated to mark the beginning of the year 1393 on the Persian calendar. President Hamid Karzai is constitutionally banned from a third term so the election will mark the first democratic transfer of power since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion that ousted the Taliban.

In other violence, Afghan security forces killed seven suspected Taliban militants Tuesday during an operation in the Chahar Dara in the northern Kunduz province, police said.

Provincial police chief Gen. Mustafa Mohseni said Wednesday that a senior Taliban commander was among those killed. He also said six militants and three police officers were wounded in the operation, which he said was very important for securing the upcoming election.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed the Taliban killed several police officers in the operation. However, past militant claims have been exaggerated.

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Associated Press writer Rahim Faiez contributed to this report.