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Suicide bomber kills 10 in Afghan attack

A suicide bomber killed 10 civilians yesterday and wounded seven others in an attack on an Afghan army patrol at a bridge in the southern province of Helmand.

The suicide attack occurred as the army patrol was crossing a bridge in Gereshk, a town just north of the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah. A provincial spokesman said all the victims were civilians, most of them vendors selling goods along the road.

Helmand province has been the scene of some of the heaviest fighting in recent weeks, including last month's operation by US, Nato and Afghan forces to take control of the Taliban-controlled town of Marjah which is south of Lashkar Gah.

Taliban forces in Marjah scattered in the face of the massive allied assault but are fighting back with ambushes and hidden bombs. Residents have said the Taliban remain strong throughout the province despite the allied takeover of Marjah.

On Saturday, two other explosions shook the city of Jalalabad in Nangarhar province north of Khost, causing no damage or casualties. A Nangarhar police spokesman said the bombs went off in a thinly populated area and were designed “to create fear among the people” who were attending concerts and events marking the Afghan New Year.

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