34 killed in suicide bombing outside Afghan bank
At least 34 persons, mostly civilians, were killed and 58 others injured on Thursday in a suicide car bomb attack at the gates of a bank in southern Afghanistan's Helmand province capital city.
The insurgent attack took place around 12 noon outside a branch of a New Kabul Bank in the provincial capital Lashkargah and victims included members of the Afghan security forces, said Omar Zwak, a spokesman for the provincial governor.
Of the 58 injured persons, 15 are out of danger and the rest are critical, therefore the number of dead could increase further, Helmand Public Health Director Mauladad Tobagar told Efe news.
He said many children were among the casualities. Officials said military personnel and civilians had converged at the bank to draw salaries ahead of Eid when the car bomb was detonated.
In a tweet, Afghanistan government Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah condemned what he termed a terror attack against innocent Muslims during Ramadan.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.
The strike follows a similar attack on a Bank of Kabul branch last month, which left seven dead and 31 wounded.
Earlier reports stated that gunmen had stormed the bank. However, officials later clarified that the reported shooting was carried out by security guards near the bank after the blast.