Blast wounds 6 near police HQ in Kandahar

The explosion blew out the windows of buildings up to a mile away, injuring 6.

Kandahar: A car bomb exploded outside a police headquarters in southern Afghanistan on Saturday, wounding at least six people and blowing out the windows of buildings up to a mile (a kilometer and a half) away, officials said.

Two civilians and four police officers were wounded, said Zalmai Ayubi, a spokesman for the governor of Kandahar province. Police cordoned off the area around Kandahar`s police building.

Azar Jan, a police officer who was standing guard across the street from the police headquarters, said he noticed an empty, silver car parked on the street in the moments before the blast.

"As I was turning around, the explosion happened," Jan said, his bleeding head wrapped in a bandage.

NATO forces have poured troops into the southern provinces of Kandahar and Helmand, making some progress in routing the Taliban. But fighting and insurgent attacks have continued.

Also Saturday, Afghan officials said a roadside bomb planted by the Taliban killed 15 civilians in a remote region of Helmand.

The attack happened Friday afternoon as a pickup truck carrying villagers to a nearby bazaar rolled over the bomb, detonating it in the Khan Neshin district of Helmand province, said Daoud Ahmadi, spokesman for the provincial governor.

"It was a very heavy explosion, the vehicle was destroyed," Ahmadi told The Associated Press by telephone from Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province. Ahmadi said all the victims were men.

In northern Afghanistan, a suicide bomber blew up a stolen police car that had been packed with explosives, injuring five Afghan soldiers and nine civilians near an Army checkpoint Saturday.

Muhbobullah Sayedi, the spokesman for the governor of Kunduz province, said the force of the blast destroyed several nearby homes. The only person killed was the suicide bomber.

Several of the civilians were in their homes at the time of the blast, Sayedi said.

The attack happened in Chahar Dara district, the most volatile district in the northern region.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in a text message sent to the media.

Bureau Report

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