At least 29 dead as vehicle bomb hits bank in Afghanistan

Author

24 June, 2017

Afghan men carry a victim of a powerful vehicle bomb in Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province, on 22 June 2017.

More than 50 others were wounded in the blast which hit civilians and members of the security forces waiting to collect their pay cheques.

"At least 34 people were killed and 58 others wounded in today's bombing", the provincial government said in a statement.

The Taliban claimed credit for a suicide attack that targeted a bank in Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital of Helmand, earlier today.

The powerful bomb struck a bank in Afghanistan's Lashkar Gah city when civilian and military government employees were queueing to withdraw their salaries, causing multiple casualties, officials said.

The Taliban control or contest 10 of the 14 districts in Afghanistan's Helmand province.

Helmand, a centre for opium production, has been the scene of fierce fighting against the Taliban for years, involving British troops, US Marines and Afghan forces.

Afghan officials claimed that one policeman and four Taliban fighters were killed, but the Taliban claimed that "at least 28 puppets", or Afghan security personnel, were killed in the assault.

In another extremely deadly recent terrorist attack in Afghanistan, the Taliban killed over 130 soldiers in an Afghan army base near Mazar-e Sharif. USA military commanders in Afghanistan have requested thousands of extra troops.

Thousands of worldwide troops remain in the country to train and assist Afghan security forces as well as carry out counterterrorism missions.

The leader of the Taliban group Mawlavi Haibatullah Akhundzada has recommended to the Americans to adopt diplomatic approach to resolve the issue in Afghanistan.

The guards were on their way to work at the Bagram Airfield, which is under the U.S. military authorities, and also it was dark outside that prevents the guards to take valid action against the Taliban.

He said many children were among the casualities.

After urging Afghans to embrace holy war, or jihad, to oust foreign troops, Akhunzadah's rambling message went on to touch upon the conflict between Gulf Arab states and Qatar, saying he was "saddened" by the feud.


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