KABUL, Afghanistan (MCT) — A car bomb exploded Sunday near police headquarters in the southern city of Kandahar, killing seven people and wounding at least 19, provincial officials said.
Five Afghan police officers and two civilians, including a child, were among the dead, said Javid Faisal, a spokesman for the Kandahar governor.
He said the blast occurred on a busy street where police officers and civilians park their cars.
“The car with explosives was parked in this street and was detonated by remote control,” Faisal said.
Daud Farhad, director of Kandahar’s Mirwais hospital, put the number of injured at 22, including six police officers. He said three of the police officers and four civilians were in a critical condition.
No one claimed responsibility for the blast. President Hamid Karzai attributed it in a statement to the “enemies of the people of Afghanistan.”
U.S. Gen. John R. Allen, commander of the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan, said Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar was unwilling or unable to stop Taliban insurgents from victimizing Afghans, “otherwise he would enforce his own alleged ‘orders’ to reduce civilian casualties.”
The U.S.-led coalition has made huge efforts in the past two years to stabilize the security situation in Kandahar and surrounding areas in Afghanistan’s restive south, a traditional Taliban stronghold.
However, despite some progress with security, there are still regular attacks on officials and government buildings in Kandahar.
A United Nations report released Saturday said more than 3,000 Afghan civilians were killed in 2011, up 8 percent from 2010.
The report said “anti-government elements” — shorthand for the Taliban and other insurgent groups — were responsible for 77 percent of the deaths.
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