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Blast kills seven in Afghanistan

A Taliban-type improvised bomb ripped through a bazaar in a remote town in northwestern Afghanistan on Monday, killing seven civilians and injuring eight others, police said.

world Updated: May 15, 2012 09:40 IST

A Taliban-type improvised bomb ripped through a bazaar in a remote town in northwestern Afghanistan on Monday, killing seven civilians and injuring eight others, police said.

The blast in Ghormach district in the province of Faryab was the latest in a string of deadly bombings and suicide attacks since Taliban insurgents announced the start of their spring offencive earlier this month.

A local councillor was among those killed by the remotely-detonated bomb, police spokesman Sayed Massoud Yaqoubi told AFP.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack but similar incidents have in the past been blamed on the Taliban and other militants fighting to topple Kabul's US-backed government.

Now in its 11th year, the Taliban-led insurgency has expanded to most of the country from their traditional strongholds in southern and eastern Afghanistan along the rugged border with Pakistan.

The annual spring offencive is launched as the weather conditions improve, providing the rebels easier passage between battlegrounds in Afghanistan and their hideouts in Pakistan's lawless tribal regions.

There are about 130,000 US-led NATO troops in Afghanistan helping defend the government of President Hamid Karzai, but they are set to withdraw by the end of 2014, leaving security responsibilities to Afghan forces.