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Afghan Market Bombing Kills 20

PTI 14 Jan 2010, 19:25:35 PM IST

Twenty people were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up in a crowded market in a restive province of southern Afghanistan on Thursday , an Afghan army general said. 

"This was a suicide bomber on foot who detonated himself at the gate of a money exchange market," said General Abdul Hameed, the commander of the Afghan National Army in Uruzgan province.   "Up to now, 20 civilians have been killed and 13 wounded," he said of the attack in the town of Dihrawud.

A police officer was also killed in a separate bombing in the province of Helmand to the south of Uruzgan, officials said.

The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) described the second bombing in the Musa Qala district as a Taliban-style attack which also wounded at least four other people. 

Abdul Salam, the district chief of Musa Qala, said five people were wounded. The Taliban widely use suicide bombers and roadside bombs in their escalating war against pro-government forces, which include 113,000 international troops under US and NATO command.

Both Uruzgan and Helmand are flashpoints of the insurgency, which appears to be peaking at its bloodiest phase since the Taliban militia was overthrown in a US-led invasion in late 2001. AFP