Burqa-cloaked bomber kills 12 in Afghanistan

May 16, 2008|By New York Times News Service

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan -- A suicide bomber cloaked in a burqa killed at least 12 other people and wounded at least 27 yesterday in southwestern Afghanistan, a sparsely populated region where Taliban militants have increased attacks in recent months.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the assault and denied that the bomber was a woman. A Taliban spokesman, Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, said the intended target was a local police commander.

Officials said that a large number of police and civilians were among the victims. The explosion occurred in Dialaram, a small town on the main road that runs through the west and south of the country.

The bomber was on foot, the provincial governor, Rohul Aman, said in a telephone interview. He said the dead included at least five policemen and seven civilians, while the wounded included at least 11 police and 16 civilians.

The bomber detonated the explosives on a busy street, apparently targeting two passing police vehicles, said the police security chief, Muhammad Nabi Popal. His death toll count was 21, most of them civilians. It was not clear why his number differed from that of the governor.

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