Blast kills Afghan policemen, civilians: Governor

Kunduz governor says blast were caused by explosives planted in a motorbike.

Kabul: A bomb blast killed four Afghan police officers and three civilians in Afghanistan`s northern Kunduz province on Saturday, a provincial official said.

Violence in the country is at its deadliest phase this year since the Taliban Islamists stepped up their insurgency campaign against the Afghan government and thousands of international forces supporting it.

Mohammad Omar, provincial governor of Kunduz, said the blast caused by explosives planted in a motorbike also wounded several people and destroyed some shops nearby.

He said the target of the blast was, however, not immediately clear.

Casualties have grown for both Afghan civilians, government troops and NATO as the insurgency spreads out of traditional Taliban strongholds in the south and east into the north and west.

A mid-year report by the United Nations has shown a 31 percent increase in civilian casualties in 2010. More than three-quarters of them were blamed on insurgents while the number attributed to foreign forces dropped to 12 percent, from 30 percent in same period last year.

Once a relatively peaceful northern area, Kunduz has been drawn slowly into the insurgency in recent months.

Bureau Report