Afghan officials now say at least 40 people were killed by Tuesday's powerful bomb explosion in the southern city of Kandahar.
Kandahar provincial council head Ahmad Wali Karzai (brother of President Hamid Karzai) told VOA (Pashto Service) the blast from a tanker truck wounded at least 64 people and blew windows and doors off houses half a kilometer away.
The blast took place after dusk when Muslims were breaking their
Ramadan fast. Officials and witnesses say the explosion was followed by
heavy gunfire on the streets.
Earlier Tuesday, NATO officials said a bomb killed four U.S. troops in
southern Afghanistan, making 2009 the deadliest year for coalition
forces since the U.S.-led invasion almost eight years ago.
And the British Defense Ministry said a British soldier died of wounds
sustained while on a patrol in southern Helmand province on August 15.
Local authorities told VOA the Kandahar blast took place near the
city's branch of the National Security Office, a restaurant, the office
of a Japanese road construction company, and a guest house popular with
Police said they were not sure which building was the target, but they
suspect the attack was carried out by a Taliban suicide bomber.
Kandahar is a Taliban insurgent stronghold. Tuesday's attack was the
deadliest since July last year when a suicide bomber blew up his
explosive-laden car outside the Indian embassy in Kabul, killing 60
people, including two senior diplomats.