The Washington Post, August 14, 2012

Afghan bombings kills 50 civilians in a day

By Kevin Sieff

Three suicide bombers killed at least 30 civilians in a coordinated attack Tuesday in a city in southwestern Afghanistan, according to Afghan officials. Later, at least 10 civilians were killed in a bombing in a bazaar in the north.

Suicide bombers killed at least 50 people in Nimroz Afghanistan
Suicide bombers killed at least 50 people on Tuesday in Nimroz province. They continue their attacks today. (Mohammad Jan/Associated Press)
Locals inspect the site of a bomb explosion in Herat on August 15
Locals inspect the site of a bomb explosion in Herat on August 15. (Photo: AFP)

The attacks began early Tuesday afternoon when 10 insurgents entered Zaranj, the capital of southwestern Nimruz province, with explosives strapped to their bodies, according to Mohammed Najob, an Interior Ministry spokesman.

Three of the bombers were shot before they could detonate their explosives, and four were detained, but three others successfully attacked heavily populated parts of the city, according to Najob, who said that at least 30 people were killed and 60 wounded.

The attackers appeared to be targeting government buildings, Najob said, but because dozens of civilians were out doing holiday shopping for the coming Eid al-Fitr celebrations that mark the end of Ramadan, the bombs tore through dense crowds.

Tuesday evening, a remotely detonated bomb killed 10 civilians and wounded 30 more in the northern province of Kunduz, according to provincial spokesman Sarwar Hosseini.

U.S. Marine Corps Gen. John R. Allen, commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, condemned the attacks.

“What we saw today were further acts of intentional mass murder,” Allen said in a statement. “Once again, I call on Mullah Omar to rein in his murderers. His intentions not to target civilians are hollow.”

Mohammad Omar is the leader of the Afghan Taliban.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai called the attacks proof that insurgents have no respect for the holy month of Ramadan.

There were no claims of responsibility for the attacks.

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