Kabul: Suicide attacks involving as many as 14 bombers struck an Afghan city on Tuesday, and a motorcycle bomb exploded in a busy market in blasts that killed at least 46 people altogether, the year’s deadliest day for civilians in Afghanistan.

Most of those who died were out shopping for food to break their fast during Ramzan.

The attacks in Nimroz province in the southwest and Kunduz in the north came during a campaign by Taliban insurgents and their allies to step up attacks as international troops hand over security responsibility to Afghan forces. NATO plans to withdraw most of its troops by the end of 2014.

There were no claims of responsibility for any of the blasts. At least 25 civilians and 11 police were killed in Nimroz when several men wearing suicide bomb vests detonated their explosives in different areas of the provincial capital of Zaranj, provincial police chief Musa Rasouli said.

Not all of the attackers were able to set off their bombs. Police killed or captured several of them, officials said.

One explosion mid-afternoon on Tuesday went off outside a hospital near a busy market packed with people shopping for the feast at the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramzan.

Nimroz Gov. Abdul Karim Barawi said there were three blasts in the city, but accounts by officials differed amid the chaos in the remote area that has had relatively few insurgent attacks in the past year.

At least two attackers wearing suicide bomb vests and carrying weapons also attacked the governor's compound but were killed by security forces before they could set off their explosives, Rasouli said.

Nimroz deputy police chief Abdul Majid Latifa said 14 bombers in all were involved in the plot, while Rasouli put the number at 11.
Both said that two of the plotters were killed by police on Monday night and three more were either killed or arrested on Tuesday morning, but their initial accounts of what happened on Tuesday afternoon differed.

In Kunduz province in the north, police said a motorcycle bomb outside a crowded bazaar killed at least 10 people, including several children.

The combined death toll marks the deadliest day for Afghan civilians this year.


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