KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (Reuters) - A suicide bomber killed eight civilians and two policemen in an attack on a police convoy in a crowded bazaar in southern Afghanistan’s Helmand province on Monday, the local police chief said.
The escalation of violence in Afghanistan this year, the bloodiest period since the Taliban was ousted in 2001, has raised fears about the prospects of stability in the country despite an increasing number of foreign troops.
The attack in the town of Musa Qala in Helmand was aimed at a police convoy, provincial police chief Assadullah told Reuters by telephone. A spokeswoman for British forces in the area said there were no casualties among its soldiers.
Assadullah said the bomber walked up to the convoy and detonated his device. Another 25 people, including two police, were wounded.
Helmand is a major bastion for Taliban insurgents and is a key drug-producing region of Afghanistan, one of the world’s top suppliers of heroin.
Removed from power in 2001, the Taliban largely rely on suicide attacks and roadside bomb raids as part of their campaign to topple the Western-backed government and drive out foreign troops under the command of NATO and the U.S. military.
Writing by Sayed Salahuddin; Editing by Paul Tait