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Suicide car bombing at Afghanistan hospital kills at least 15

A Taliban spokesman denies responsibility. Elsewhere, explosives on a bicycle kill 10.

June 25, 2011|By Alex Rodriguez and Hashmat Baktash | Special to The Times
  • Afghan security officials show three suspected militants and recovered explosives and bomb making equipment in Herat.
Afghan security officials show three suspected militants and recovered… (Jalil Rezayee, EPA )

KABUL, Afghanistan — A suicide car bombing outside a hospital in eastern Afghanistan killed at least 15 people Saturday and injured 45 others, just a day after a bomb attached to a bicycle killed 10 people at a market in the northern province of Kunduz.

The attack on the hospital occurred in the Azra district of the eastern province of Lowgar, about 25 miles east of Kabul. Din Mohammed Darwaish, spokesman for the Lowgar governor's office, said the suicide car bomber detonated his explosives outside the 40-bed hospital, which was filled with patients, visitors, doctors and other hospital staff.

Many of the dead and wounded were women and children, Darwaish said. A Taliban spokesman told the Associated Press that the insurgency denied responsibility for the attack.

Late Friday, a blast from bicycle rigged with explosives ripped through a bazaar in the Khanabad district of Kunduz province. One of the 10 killed was a police officer. At least 24 other people were wounded in that attack.

The number of civilian deaths in the decade-old Afghan conflict continues to soar, with the majority of them attributed to insurgent attacks. In 2010, more than 2,700 civilians were killed -- a 15% increase from the previous year, according to figures compiled by the United Nations. Three-fourths of those deaths were caused by insurgents. Most of those deaths are the result of suicide bombings and roadside bomb attacks.

Hashmat Baktash is a special correspondent based in Kabul.

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