Bomb at Afghan bazaar kills 4 people

Associated Press

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A bomb in a busy Afghan market killed four people on Saturday in the western province of Herat, an official said, the latest attack targeting civilians in the decade-long war. Hours later, a prison director was assassinated in southern Afghanistan by a bomb planted in his car.

The early morning market explosion also wounded 12 people, including three policemen who were on patrol in the bazaar in Shindand district, Herat provincial government spokesman Muhiudin Noori said.

The blast came three days after a bicycle bomb in Herat's provincial capital wounded 14 people.

"Once again the enemy has attacked in Herat ... They have no other target than killing civilians," Noori said.

Earlier this week, at least 50 people died in multiple suicide bombings in western Nimroz province and a market bomb in Kunduz in the north in what was the deadliest day for civilians so far this year.

A U.N. report says 1,145 Afghan civilians have been killed and 1,954 others injured during the first half of the year, the overwhelming majority of them in militant attacks. Others died caught up in the crossfire, suicide attacks and also coalition aistrikes.

While the Taliban leadership have issued orders to avoid harming civilians, many are caught up in the violence as the insurgents target government and international forces with improvised land mines and remote-controlled bombs.

In southern Afghanistan, the director of a prison in Helmand province's Grish district, Mohammad Ismail, died when a bomb attached to his car exploded, district governor Mohammad Saleem Rohdi said.

Also Saturday, Britain's defense ministry said a soldier from 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards has been killed in southern Afghanistan. The ministry said the soldier, who has not yet been named, died Friday as a result of enemy action while working in the Nahri Saraj district of Helmand province.

Maj. Ian Lawrence, the British military spokesman in Afghanistan, said the soldier was killed while on sentry duty.

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