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Suicide bomber targets western province in Afghanistan


A suicide bomber in a four-wheel-drive vehicle detonated his cache of explosives in western Afghanistan today, killing or wounding more than 20 people.

The attacker struck as people were gathered outside a district headquarters building, waiting to go inside to see government officials about various business matters, said Nasar Ahmad Popul, the chief of Herat province's Guzara district.

“When a suicide bomber tried to enter the district headquarters, he was stopped by the police but then he detonated his explosives - right at the gate,” said Mr Popul, who was inside the building at the time. “The explosion was so strong - there are causalities among police and civilians.”

Raouf Ahmedi, spokesman for the police commander of the western region of Afghanistan, said more than 20 people had been killed or wounded.

Herat province, as well as most of western Afghanistan, is relatively calm as insurgents have concentrated their attacks in the south and east.

The responsibility for nearly all of the province has been transferred or is in the process of being transferred from Nato troops to Afghan forces.

The attack occurred between Herat city, the provincial capital, and the main airport in the area, which is in Guzara district.