28 dead in blast at Afghan government office

At least 28 civilians were killed and 32 wounded in a suicide blast at a government office in the Afghan north, officials said Monday, in the latest in a string of high-casualty attacks.

The blast took place shortly after noon (0730 GMT) as people were queuing outside a district office in the Imam Sahib district of Kunduz province to collect new identity cards and other paperwork.

It came two days after several Taliban suicide bombers hit a bank in Jalalabad, eastern Afghanistan, killing 38 people and wounding more than 70 others — the deadliest attack in months.

District governor Mohammad Ayob Haqyar said the bomb struck people waiting outside the district office headquarters to apply for and collect official documents.

“A suicide attacker detonated his explosives in the waiting area and killed and wounded around 50 people… we are busy helping the wounded and collecting dead bodies, he added.

Interior Ministry spokesman Zemerai Bashary confirmed the death toll and called the incident a “disaster.”

There was no immediate claim of responsibility from insurgent groups.
Northern Afghanistan had been less troubled by Taliban insurgents than the south, but recent months have brought increasing insecurity to areas such as Kunduz as the rebellion fans wider across the country.