A car bomb attack wounded at least 35 people, including women and children, in Afghanistan’s Kandahar province early Monday.
Provincial officials said the attack near the headquarters of Daman district police was carried out using a Mazda mini truck. The bombing damaged parts of the building along with several nearby houses. Fifteen civilians became victims of the attack along with several police officers, operatives of Afghanistan’s intelligence agency the National Directorate of Security, and the district police chief, Abdul Wadoud.
Shadi Khan, the chief of the district, said local officials were in a meeting inside when the bomb detonated.
“The walls of the district police headquarters and district center were destroyed. There is not a single window or door that was not damaged,” Khan said, describing the extent of the destruction.
The Kabul-Kandahar highway was closed for some time after Monday’s attack.
Baheer Ahmadi, a spokesman for the Kandahar provincial governor, said “all except one victim were only slightly wounded.” He added that the one person in critical condition has been moved to the Mirwais regional hospital.
Daman district is located east of the Kandahar city. No group has claimed responsibility so far.
The attack came days after the Taliban and the Afghan government’s teams in Doha made progress in negotiations aimed at ending decades of conflict.
The international community has repeatedly expressed its concern at what several governments and international agencies have called an unacceptably high level of violence in Afghanistan. In a recent statement condemning attacks on media, rights defenders, and religious leaders, the European Union reiterated that “the Taliban and various terrorist organizations are responsible for the significant majority of civilian casualties in Afghanistan.”
The country has seen multiple car bomb attacks in the last few months, some of them deadly. A similar car bomb attack on a security forces’ compound in Ghazni province last month killed 30 security personnel.