The Latest: Death toll rises to 29 in Afghanistan bombing

June 22, 2017 - 6:01 am

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) — The Latest on developments in Afghanistan following the suicide car bombing in Helmand province (all times local):

2 p.m.

The governor of Afghanistan's southern Helmand province has raised the death toll in the suicide car bombing outside a bank there to 29, saying most of those killed in the explosion were civilians.

Hayatullah Hayat, the provincial governor, says the attack on Thursday outside the Kabul Bank in the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah, also wounded 60 people.

However, there were reportedly many Afghan National Army soldiers inside the bank at the time of the explosion. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing.

Afghanistan's southern Helmand province has been at the center of bitter battles between the Afghan security forces, aided by NATO troops, and the Taliban, who are believed to control nearly 80 percent of Helmand's countryside.

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1:30 p.m.

A local police chief in Afghanistan says a suicide car bombing targeted Afghan soldiers lining up outside a bank in southern Helmand province, killing at least 15 people.

Provincial police chief Gen. Agha Noor Kentoz says the attacker struck on Thursday in Lashkargah, the provincial capital. He says at least a dozen people were wounded in the explosion outside a Kabul Bank branch.

People likely had gathered there to collect salaries ahead of the upcoming holiday of Eid al-Fitr.

Haji Moladad Tobagar, health director in Lashkargah told The Associated Press that the hospital received 25 bodies after the attack, as well as 60 wounded.

He says he fears an even higher casualty toll as more victims were being brought in. The discrepancies in the casualty tolls could not immediately be reconciled.

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