Afghan suicide blast kills five
A suicide bomber in Afghanistan on Monday killed five civilians and injured five others in an attack near a government office, officials said.
Jalalabad: A suicide bomber in Afghanistan on Monday killed five civilians and injured five others in an attack near a government office, officials said.
The blast took place close to the district government compound in Qarghayi, Laghman province, eastern Afghanistan.
"Five civilians were killed and another five civilians were wounded in the suicide attack today," provincial spokesman Faizanullah Pattan said.
Pattan earlier said three civilians were killed, but two of the wounded later died in hospital. Among those wounded, two are policemen, he said.
He blamed the attack on enemies of Afghanistan, a term often used to refer to Taliban militants who have waged a bloody insurgency against Afghan and international forces for nearly 10 years.
Taliban spokesman Zahihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack.
The Taliban announced the start of their annual spring offensive just over a week ago.
Civilians are increasingly caught up in the violence that has blighted Afghanistan since the 2001 US-led invasion ousted the Taliban from power, triggering an insurgency whose intensity has increased in recent years.
The United Nations said last year was the deadliest for civilians since the conflict began, with 2,777 killed -- a 15 percent increase on 2009.
There are about 130,000 international troops in Afghanistan, two-thirds of them from the United States, battling the Taliban and other insurgents.
A limited withdrawal of foreign troops from seven relatively peaceful areas is due to start in July, ahead of a full withdrawal of foreign combat troops scheduled by the end of 2014.