Tue, 23 Apr 2019

Four people, including a provincial official, have been killed and dozens more wounded in a twin bombing claimed by the Taliban in southern Afghanistan.

Afghan officials said the attack targeted a celebration of Farmers Day in a sports stadium in the provincial capital of Helmand Province on March 23.

Lashkar Gah

The government said Mohammad Khan Nasrat, the economic director of Helmand, was among those killed in the attack at the stadium where about 1,000 people had gathered.

Helmand provincial Governor Mohammad Yasin Khan was knocked over but suffered only superficial injuries, a spokesman said.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility on Twitter for the explosions.

The Taliban control much of the province and frequently target government officials and the security forces.

The attack is one of several to have occurred during Afghanistan's multiday celebrations to mark its traditional new year.

Explosions in Kabul on March 21 killed six people and wounded 23 others. Islamic State claimed responsibility for that attack in the Afghan capital.

SEE ALSO: Norouz Attack In Kabul Kills At Least Six; IS Claims Responsibility

The traditional new year is widely celebrated in Afghanistan but some hard-line Islamists oppose the festivities, saying they are un-Islamic.

Elsewhere in Afghanistan, dozens of people protested against a military operation in northern Kunduz Province while carrying the remains of their loved ones. Photos from the protest showed what appeared to be the bodies of 12 people, including five or six small children.

Police spokesman Inamuddin Rahmani said there were operations in three different areas in Kunduz over the last three days that killed scores of insurgents.

'We are investigating if any civilians were killed or wounded,' he said.

On March 22, two American service members were killed during an operation in Kunduz Province. The Taliban said the same day that they were engaged in heavy fighting with Afghan and U.S. forces in Kunduz.

With reporting by AP and Reuters RFE/RL

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Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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