15 Aug 2012

Deadly suicide attacks in Afghanistan

5:40 am on 15 August 2012

Suicide bombers have killed at least 40 people in attacks in southwest Afghanistan and in the northern province of Kunduz.

Three suicide bombers killed at least 28 people and wounded more than 70 on Tuesday in attacks outside a hospital and within a busy city market in the south-western province of Nimroz.

Eighteen civilians including several children and at least three members of the Afghan security forces were among the dead in the town of Zaranj, near the border with Iran.

One bomber detonated his explosive vest in front of Nimroz hospital, while two others blew themselves up inside the city, killing mostly civilians, the president's office said in a statement.

Officials say the toll is expected to rise.

Police say the market targeted by the bombers had been packed with people buying food and supplies to end their daily Ramadan fast.

In the northern province of Kunduz, 12 people were killed and more than 30 wounded in another attack, the BBC reports.

The district governor of Dasht-e Archi said bomb had been placed on a motorbike and had gone off in a main square shortly before the end of the day's Ramadan fast.

The bombings come during a surge in fighting ahead of a withdrawal by most Western combat troops and handover to Afghan forces to be completed by the end of 2014.