Dozens Killed in Afghanistan Suicide Bombing

A suicide bomber blew himself up in a crowded square in southern Afghanistan just before evening prayers on Monday, killing at least two dozen people.

Based on preliminary reports, some 26 people perished as a result of the explosion in the town of Gereshk in Helmand province.

Gereshk district chief Abdul Manaf Khan said it was unclear whether the suicide bomber was on foot or rode a motorcycle into a crowd.

The bomber targeted a truck packed with police officers who were in the main village square at early evening.

About half of those killed in the attack were police officers, Khan said. Roughly 60 others were wounded.

Gereshk is in the heart of a Taliban stronghold, although the militant group did not immediately claim responsibility for the blast.

The suicide bombing comes on the heels of a U.N. report that says militant suicide attacks in Afghanistan are up 69 percent over last year. The number of suicide attacks here is second only to Iraq.

Few of the Taliban's bombing attacks – which tend to target international and Afghan military and police forces — have been as deadly as the one in Helmand.

From NPR reports and The Associated Press

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