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Suicide Bomb Rips Through Crowded Market in Afghan Provincial Capital

A suspected suicide bomb attack in Southern Afghanistan has killed at least 17 people and injured more than 40 others.

Officials say the bomb went off Monday in the middle of a crowded market area in Lashkar Gah, capital of Helmand province.

Interior Ministry spokesman Yousef Stanizai blamed the attack on "enemies of the state," a phrase typically used to refer to Taleban insurgents.

"This is a terrorist act which has killed defenseless civilians and children," he said.

Afghanistan's insurgents are increasingly borrowing tactics from their counterparts in Iraq.

This was one of the bloodiest suicide attacks in Afghanistan to date, in what has already been the country's deadliest year since U.S. forces ousted the Taleban regime in 2001. More than two thousand people, mostly militants, have killed since January.