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At Least 18 Dead in Afghan Suicide Blasts

RIA Novosti

16:17 10/04/2012

MOSCOW, April 10 (RIA Novosti) - At least 18 people were killed and another 45 injured in two separate Taliban attacks in Afghanistan’s Herat and Helmand provinces on Tuesday, Al Jazeera said, quoting local police.

At least 14 people died including police and civilians, and another 40 were injured when a Toyota pick-up with two people inside was blown up near Guzara's police and government headquarters as people gathered outside the building to see government officials, Al Jazeera said. The vehicle had passed a security checkpoint on the road between Herat International Airport and the Guzara district in western Herat, ignoring two orders to stop, the police said.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying that the blast was triggered by a police bullet.

Western Afghan provinces, including Heart, have been relatively calm as insurgents have previously focused their attacks in the south and east of the country. Responsibility for security in nearly all of Herat province is in the process of being transferred, from international troops to Afghan forces.

Meanwhile, four police officers were killed and another five people were injured in the southern province of Helmand, when three suicide bombers attacked a police headquarters in the town of Musa Qala, Al Jazeera said. Two bombers blew themselves up inside the buildings, while a third bomber was shot dead before his vest could be detonated. The Taliban has claimed responsibility.

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