At least 16 people were killed and 38 injured on Tuesday when a minivan packed with explosives blew up when security officials attempted to defuse him in southern Afghanistan, officials said.
Police and intelligence services in Kandahar City have already cleared the area around a bus terminal where the van was found, said provincial governor Daud Ahmadi
"When the security forces attempted to defuse the transporter, he detonated" said police spokesman Mohammad Qasim Azad. 19659004] "The latest figures show 16 dead and 38 injured who were taken to hospital, and we still have two ambulances on the job site because more people could be under the rubble," Dr. Nehmat Barak, head of the Mirwais hospital in Kandahar.
Ahmadi confirmed the tribute, adding that the dead included four members of the security forces. Among the wounded were at least five children and ten members of the security forces.
The explosion was so severe that most of the victims were passers-by outside the cleared area.
"When I went into my shop, the area was closed by the security forces," said a witness who did not give his name, AFP.
"I was waiting for the road to be opened, when a big explosion happened and I fled the area, my coworkers had already disappeared in the shop and I have no news about what happened to them."
Another witness said he was in his shop when the explosives exploded. "I was between smoke and bloodstains and saw my hand broken," he said.
Ahmadi said the security forces also found a large container of explosives, shells, suicide vests and nearby ammunition.
The terrorists were planning a major end-of-Ramadan attack on the city while they were shopping for Eid … Security forces prevented a catastrophe, "said a security official from AFP.
-" Few signs
No group took immediate responsibility The explosion was quickly condemned by President Ashraf Ghani, who praised the "brave" officers who dealt with it.
The Taliban are stepping up their spring offensive through the war-torn country.
Late Monday, the insurgents attacked two districts in the southeastern province of Ghazni, just before they retook the police headquarters in one of them, said governor spokesman Aref Noori.
He said 16 members of the security forces were joining had been killed in the fighting and the Taliban had also suffered – heavy casualties, sporadic clashes e continued on Tuesday.
Last week, the militants attacked the western city of Farah but were supported by the Afghan and US Air Forces.
On Monday, the Taliban warned Kabul residents to avoid "military centers" in the heavily fortified city, saying they are planning more attacks there.
A US government guardian also warned Monday that optimistic assessments of improving security in the c The country did not oppose the facts on the ground.
The Office of the Inspector General of the Pentagon said there was "little sign of progress" in the fight against the Taliban.
Top US officials and military commanders insist on Afghan police and troops – who have suffered thousands of victims and are plagued by low morale and corruption are now doing a better job.
But the Taliban are still controlling parts of the country and carrying out repeated attacks, while the Islamic State group has led a series of high-profile suicide attacks in Kabul and elsewhere.
str-emh-us-st / ds / sm
One of the explosion victims in the hospital