Deadly suicide bomb reported at Kandahar bank

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At least 21 people have been killed in a suicide bombing in the Afghan city of Kandahar, a doctor at the regional hospital has told the BBC.

The Taliban government has put the death toll at three. Police said a number of others were wounded.

The Taliban said the suicide attack took place at around 08:00 (03:30 GMT) at a bank located in the city centre.

No group has yet said it carried out the attack, which appears to be the biggest in Afghanistan this year.

The blast took place at a branch where Afghan government employees were queueing to collect their salaries.

The dead and around 50 injured people have been taken to Mirwais hospital, the region’s largest, a doctor from the hospital said on the condition of anonymity.

Kandahar is the seat of power of the Taliban, the base of their supreme commander.

While the overall security situation in Afghanistan has improved since the Taliban gained complete control with the full withdrawal of foreign troops in 2021, there continue to be dozens of bombings and suicide attacks in the country each year.

Many of them have targeted Afghanistan’s Hazara ethnic minority and have been claimed by Islamic State Khorasan Province, or ISKP, the regional affiliate of the so-called Islamic State group, a major rival of the Taliban.

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