Twin bombs kill 9, wound 60 in Afghan south: officials | world | Hindustan Times
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Twin bombs kill 9, wound 60 in Afghan south: officials

world Updated: May 18, 2013 02:03 IST

Two car bombs exploded in a sprawling housing development in southern Afghanistan linked to the family of President Hamid Karzai, killing at least nine people and wounding more than 60.

The blast occurred minutes apart in Aino Mina, a posh complex on the outskirts of Kandahar city that was conceived in 2002 and built by investors including President Karzai's businessman brother Mahmoud Karzai.

The target of the attack was a convoy of police vehicles, officials said, but many of the victims were local residents who had gathered at the end of the Friday holiday to eat and socialise.

"This pointless attack on innocent Afghans in a peaceful family park is inexcusable," Kandahar governor Tooryalai Wesa said in a statement issued by the province's media centre.

Kandahar, one of the most volatile and lawless cities in Afghanistan, was the birthplace of the Taliban movement in the 1990s and it remains a hotbed of the Taliban insurgency against President Karzai's US-backed government.

"There were two vehicle IEDs (improvised explosive devices)," Javed Faisal, spokesman for the Kandahar governor, told AFP. "Nine people are dead, including three policemen, and more than 60 people are wounded."

He said seven police were among the injured, but the other dead and wounded were local people, many of them children.

The Kandahar media centre said the bombs were planted in two Toyota Corolla cars and had been detonated at about 7:30 pm (1500 GMT).

It said police and emergency services treated wounded people at the scene.

Kandahar police chief Abdul Raziq confirmed the incident and the death toll of nine.

The attack came a day after a suicide car bomb hit a foreign military convoy in Kabul, killing 15 people including six Americans.

The Taliban launched their annual "spring offensive" on April 27, opening a key period as Afghan security forces take the lead in offensives against the insurgents.

All NATO combat missions will finish in Afghanistan by the end of 2014 and foreign troops have already begun to withdraw from the battlefield as Afghan police and army take over the fight against the insurgents.

More than 11 years after the Taliban regime was ousted in 2001, efforts to seek a political settlement ending the violence have so far made little progress, but pressure is growing ahead of the NATO withdrawal.