Car bomb explodes outside a bank in Afghanistan’s Lashkar Gah, 30 feared dead

Car bomb explodes outside a bank in Afghanistan's Lashkar Gah, 30 feared dead
Representational picture.

Lashkar Gah, June 22: A car bomb that struck a bank in southern Afghanistan Thursday left at least 30 people dead and 50 wounded, a government spokesman said.

“The blast killed 20 people and left 50 others wounded, both civilians and military officials,” Omar Zwak said, warning that the toll could rise.

No group has claimed responsibility for the latest in a series of brazen attacks during the holy fasting month of Ramadan, but it comes as the Taleban ramp up their annual spring offensive.

“Around 12 noon a car bomb exploded at the entrance of New Kabul Bank,” Salam Afghan, police spokesman in the city, told AFP.

“It happened at a time when civilians and officials had lined up outside the bank to collect their salaries.”

Provincial governor spokesman Omar Zwak said at least 20 people had been killed and more than 50 injured, including police and army officials, civilians and staff of the New Kabul Bank branch where the blast occurred.

No group has claimed responsibility of the attack but insurgent groups, including the Taliban and Islamic State have been carried out the attack in the past targeting the banks.

In May, at least three people were killed and many wounded in an attack on a bank in the eastern city of Gardez.

Washington is soon expected to announce an increase in the US military deployment to bolster Afghan forces, who are struggling to contain the Taleban insurgency. American military commanders in Afghanistan have requested thousands of extra boots on the ground.

US troops in Afghanistan now number about 8,400, and there are another 5,000 from Nato allies, a far cry from the US presence of more than 100,000 six years ago. They mainly serve as trainers and advisers.

The Afghan conflict is the longest in American history, with US-led forces at war since the Taleban regime was ousted in 2001.