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New Afghan suicide blast kills 35: governor

A Taliban suicide car bomb aimed at Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan killed 35 civilians today, a day after another suicide blast left more than 100 dead in the country's deadliest such attack.
By HT Correspondent | AFP, Kandahar
UPDATED ON FEB 18, 2008 10:34 PM IST

A Taliban suicide car bomb aimed at Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan killed 35 civilians today, a day after another suicide blast left more than 100 dead in the country's deadliest such attack.

The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force said three of its soldiers were also wounded in the powerful suicide blast in Spin Boldak, a busy market town near the Pakistan border.

It would not comment on the nationality of the troops but Kandahar province governor Asadullah Khalid told reporters they were Canadians.

"The suicide attacker detonated near a Canadian military convoy. In the attack 35 civilians were killed, 27 civilians were wounded and also three Canadian troops were wounded," Khalid told AFP.

A spokesman for the extremist Taliban movement said his group had carried out the blast, which is similar to scores carried out by extremists who were in government between 1996 and 2001.

The attack came a day after a suicide bomber blew himself up in a crowd of hundreds of men and boys watching a dog fighting competition outside Kandahar city, killing more than 100 people.

It was the deadliest suicide blast since the fall of the Taliban regime in a US-led invasion. The Taliban were behind most of around 140 suicide attacks last year, the deadliest of the insurgency.

Khalid said today the target of Sunday's blast was an anti-Taliban militia commander, Abdul Hakim Jan, who had been at the dogfight.

The commander had been warned that his life was under threat from the Taliban, the governor told hundreds of people packed into a mosque for a ceremony to mourn.

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