KANDAHAR CITY, AFGHANISTAN (BNO NEWS) — At least 21 people were killed after two suicide blasts struck a popular bazaar in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday, officials said. It was the deadliest single day for Afghan civilians so far this year.
The first of the two blasts struck at around 11 a.m. local time at a bazaar near the Kandahar International Airport, located on the Kandahar-Spin Boldak Highway in the province of Kandahar, when the suicide bomber detonated an explosive-laden motorcycle.
The blast was followed by another motorcycle explosion in the bazaar and near the headquarters of the Afghan National Army (ANA) as people began transporting the initial victims to local hospitals, governor spokesperson Javed Faisal and provincial police chief Brigadier General Abdul Razaq told Pajhwok Afghan News.
Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi claimed responsibility of the twin blasts, which killed 21 civilians and injured 50 others. But the nationwide death toll from insurgent attacks was at least 40, making it the deadliest single day for Afghan civilians so far this year. They also represent the worst day in civilian deaths since the Ashura attack of December 2011 in Kabul.