Suicide bomber kills 21 in Kandahar


KANDAHAR: At least 21 people were killed in a suicide bomb­ing in the southern Af­ghan city of Kandahar, a doctor at the regional hospital has told report­ers on Thursday.

The Taliban govern­ment has put the death toll at three. Police said a number of others were wounded.

The suicide attack took place at about 08:00 (03:30 GMT), the Taliban said, at a bank located in the city centre.

No group has yet said it carried out the attack, which appears to be the biggest in Afghanistan this year. The blast took place at a branch where Afghan government em­ployees were queueing to collect their salaries.

“So far 21 dead and at least 50 people injured from the ex­plosion have been brought in,” a doctor from Mirwais hospital, the region’s larg­est, said on the condition of anonymity.

Kandahar is the seat of power of the Taliban, the base of their supreme commander. While the overall securi­ty situation in Afghanistan has improved since the Taliban gained complete control with the full with­drawal of foreign troops in 2021, there contin­ue to be dozens of bomb­ings and suicide attacks in the country each year.

Many of them have target­ed Afghanistan’s Hazara ethnic minority and have been claimed by Islamic State Khorasan Province, or ISKP, the regional affili­ate of the so-called Islamic State group, a major rival of the Taliban.__The Nation