At least nine people were killed when two suicide bombers rammed their vehicle into a local government compound near Afghanistan’s western city of Herat on Tuesday, police and witnesses said.
Provincial police chief Sayed Agha Saqeb told reporters that the bombers were being pursued by police when they detonated the vehicle at the entrance to the Guzara district compound along the road from the airport to the city.
“Nine people are dead. The car was under our surveillance. It was ordered twice to stop but they didn’t stop,” said the police chief.
“There were two individuals in the car, one was wearing a burqa. One of the bombers is totally shattered and the other person’s body is still there with his (suicide) vest still unexploded.”
The dead included two policemen, an intelligence officer and six civilians, the police chief said.
An AFP reporter, among the first to arrive at the scene, said he saw at least six bodies among rubble and pieces of metal from the bombers’ car.
Another witness told AFP that women and children were also present when the bombing happened.
“Shortly before it happened, I saw some women and children there. After the bombing I saw up to 10 people lying in blood,” the witness told AFP.
Most of the casualties were civilians who had come to the local administration offices on business, the witness said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but suicide car bomb attacks are a hallmark of Taliban insurgents fighting to topple the Western-backed government of President Hamid karzai.