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Afghan bomber kills six

At least one suicide bomb has exploded at provincial council offices in Afghanistan\’s city of Kandahar in an attack that killed six people, witnesses and officials said.

南宁桑拿

Three gunmen in Afghan military uniform, apparently attackers, also stormed the building straight after the blast, shooting as they went, witnesses told AFP although this was not confirmed by authorities.

At least one of the assailants blew himself up in a second explosion, the witnesses said. It was not clear if others remained in the building.

Officials could not immediately confirm two blasts.

“There has been a suicide blast in front of the provincial council office in Kandahar,” interior ministry spokesman Zemarai Bashary told AFP.

“The area has been cordoned off by police. At this stage we don\’t know if there are any casualties or how many. We also don\’t know if there were one or two suicide blasts,” he said.

At least six people were killed and 16 wounded, national health ministry spokesman Abdullah Fahim told AFP.

Agha Lalai, a provincial council member who was attending a seminar inside the building at the time, said there was “a big explosion” which blew open the gate of the compound.

“Then some people — I don\’t know if they were the terrorists – entered the building and started firing in the hall.

“Our bodyguards fired back. Another explosion occurred. It was like one of them blew himself up as our bodyguards fired at them.”

Lalai said he saw several wounded people, including one provincial council member, but he could not say how many.

A driver who was also inside the building at the time of the attack said a four-by-four vehicle exploded in front of the council offices.

“The three men in ANA (Afghan National Army) uniform entered the building,” Sayed Ahmad told AFP from the city\’s main hospital. “They kept firing in every direction,” he said.

“Six of my friends were wounded and I brought them here to hospital,” he said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack but it is likely to have been carried out by extremists behind a wave of violence in Afghanistan and neighbouring Pakistan.

Kandahar province is the birthplace of the Taliban movement, which leads the insurgency against the Western-backed government and foreign troops in Afghanistan, with support from militant sanctuaries across the border.

The Taliban swept into government in 1996 and were removed in the 2001 US-led invasion.

Last year saw the most attacks since then and last week the United States unveiled a sweeping new strategy designed to defeat the extremists and stabilise the fragile country.

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