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Explosions Kill 12 in Southern Afghanistan


Two bombs have exploded in southern Afghanistan, killing at least 12 people, most of them children, and wounding dozens.

The second and larger explosion took place in a crowded shopping district in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar. The blast occurred 15 minutes after a smaller explosion in the same area, which witnesses say injured one child.

Shortly after the explosions, police arrested a suspect who witnesses told VOA had been seen planting an explosive device in a fruit cart.

Police suspect the incidents are connected with remnants of Afghanistan's former hard-line Taleban regime, which have been leading a two-year-old anti-government insurgency in the area.

Monday, unknown assailants threw a grenade from their car at the U.N. refugee agency's Kandahar headquarters. Guards at the U.N. compound fired on the attackers' car, but no casualties were reported.

The recent attacks follow a period of relative calm in otherwise violence-plagued Afghanistan.

A new national constitution was adopted Sunday, clearing the way for the interim government to prepare for Afghanistan's first free elections in more than two decades.

The elections are tentatively scheduled for June, but observers say insurgent violence could make voter registration and polling difficult in the south and east of the country, where the attacks have been taking place.

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