Death toll from Helmand blasts mounts to 17
LASHKARGAH (PAN): The toll from Wednesday's bomb explosions in the southern province of Helmand has mounted to 17 dead and 23 wounded, officials said on Thursday.
A suicide bomber detonated his explosive-rigged motorcycle near a police foot patrol late on Wednesday, killing 14 people, including three policemen, and injuring 23 others in the Kajaki district bazaar.
The governor’s spokesman Daud Ahmadi told Pajhwok Afghan News the injured, including two policemen, were evacuated to hospitals. However, the spokesman had no information about their health condition.
An hour later, the Nad Ali district intelligence chief, Wali Mohammad, was killed along with two colleagues and a provincial council member when a vehicle they were travelling in struck a roadside bomb in the Loya Bagh area of the district, said Col. Muhammad Ismail, deputy coordination head at the police headquarters.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the roadside bombing, with their spokesman Qari Yousaf Ahmadi saying the Nad Ali intelligence chief was among six people killed in the assault.
Meanwhile, ISAF Commander Gen. John R. Allen condemned the suicide attack. "On behalf of ISAF, I would like to offer our most sincere condolences to the dozens of victims and their families."
Wishing a speedy recovery for the injured, Gen. Allen said with the "horrendous attack" on the Kajaki Bazaar, the insurgents had once again destroyed the lives of dozens of innocent Afghan civilians.
The attacks against the people would have no effect on the progress the ISAF was making together with the Afghan partners and would only further isolate the Taliban from the process of peace negotiation, he remarked.
He added that Mullah Omar had lost all control over the Taliban; otherwise he would immediately denounce these attacks and order his "forces" to stop attacking civilians.
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