Seven Killed, 41 Injured in Afghan Truck Bomb
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A Taliban truck bomb targeting senior provincial officials Wednesday killed at least seven civilians and wounded around 40 in southern Afghanistan, where the military has been battling insurgents since last month, officials said.
The suicide bomber detonated his explosives-rigged truck near a complex that houses the governor, the head of the provincial council and the deputy provincial police chief in Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province, a senior local official said.
All three survived, but "seven civilian were killed and 41 were wounded in the attack", Deputy Provincial Governor Mohammad Jan Rasolyar told AFP.
"The attack was targeted at a gathering of senior government officials, civil society members and journalists in a hall for a seminar on human trafficking and kidnapping," he added.
The wounded, including provincial government spokesman Omar Zhwak, were taken to hospital.
A senior police officer, who declined to be named, confirmed the attack and casualties, adding that buildings in the complex were also damaged. The interior ministry also confirmed the attack in a statement.
Afghanistan's military began an offensive against Taliban fighters in Helmand province last month, in what was seen as a key test of their ability to curtail the insurgency following the end of US-led NATO combat mission in late December.
On Monday, it claimed the killing of militant commander Hafiz Waheed, who led a faction Kabul claims is linked to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorist group -- though the organization has never acknowledged having affiliates in Afghanistan.
A residual force of about 12,000 international troops have remained to help train Afghanistan's security forces, but a rising tide of violence has led US and Afghan leaders to revise their plans over further planned withdrawals.