Afghan suicide bombing kills at least 34

Afghan suicide bombing kills at least 34

At least 34 people, mostly civilians, have been killed and 58 others injured in a suicide car bomb attack at the gates of a bank branch in southern Afghanistan's Helmand province.

Four seriously hurt people died while they were being operated on in hospital, taking the death toll to 34, while 58 people remain injured, Helmand Public Health Director Mauladad Tobagar said.

Most of the injured were in a serious condition and the number of dead could increase further, he said, adding that children are among the casualties.

The insurgent attack on the Bank of Kabul branch in Lashkargah, capital of Helmand, took place around 12 pm local time, and victims included members of the Afghan security forces, a spokesman for the provincial governor, Omar Zwak, said.

Zwak said the suicide attacker tried to get as close to the bank as possible, but on being spotted by security guards, he detonated the explosives at the first checkpoint.

A local official, who requested anonymity, told EFE that many members of the security forces were at the branch to withdraw their salaries ahead of the forthcoming celebrations to mark the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

In a tweet, Afghanistan government Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah condemned what he termed a terror attack against innocent Muslims during Ramadan.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

The incident follows a similar attack on a Bank of Kabul branch last month, which left seven dead and 31 wounded.