Suicide bomber hits voters registration centre in Kabul

Kabul: A suicide bomber detonated explosives in a crowd gathered outside a voter and ID registration centre in western Kabul on Sunday, police said, underscoring security concerns ahead of upcoming elections.

“It happened at the entrance gate of the centre. It was a suicide attack. There are casualties, but we do not know how many for the time being,” Dawood Amin, police chief of Kabul, told AFP.

Earlier, a car packed with explosives blew up outside a sports stadium in Afghanistan’s restive south, killing at least 13 people and wounding dozens more, officials said, capping a bloody week in the war-torn country.

The suicide attack happened in Lashkar Gah, the capital of opium poppy-rich Helmand province, as spectators were leaving a wrestling match at the stadium, provincial governor spokesperson Omar Zwak told AFP.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which Zwak said killed at least 13 people and wounded 45 others, including children.

Helmand police spokesperson Salam Afghan had earlier given a lower toll of 10 dead and 35 wounded. Local officials were at the match, which witnesses said had been held as part of celebrations for Nawrooz, the Persian new year holiday that some fundamentalist Muslims consider un-Islamic.

President Ashraf Ghani, whose government has been lambasted for its inability to protect ordinary Afghans, condemned the attack against “innocent people”, according to a statement.

Helmand is largely controlled by the Taliban, which is under growing pressure to take up Ghani’s offer of peace talks to end the 16-year war.

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