Civilians killed by Afghanistan motorcycle bomb

Two civilians were killed when a motorcycle-rickshaw packed with explosives blew up as it was driving through the outskirts of southern Afghanistan's main city today, officials said.

The driver of the vehicle appeared to be on his way to Kandahar city when the bomb detonated inadvertently, said Kandahar provincial government spokesman Zalmai Ayubi.

The blast, which killed two bystanders and injured more than 10 others, did not appear to be a targeted attack, according to Ayubi and Provincial Police Chief General Abdul Raziq.

However, Border and Tribal Affairs Minister Asadullah Khalid said his car was nearby when the bomb went off, suggesting that he may have been the target.

Mr Khalid said on Afghan television that he was driving towards development projects in Kandahar when the bomb exploded near his vehicle. He was not injured.

Civilian deaths have increased greatly in Afghanistan in recent years, largely because of insurgent bomb attacks.