Car bombs have exploded minutes apart in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar killing nine people and wounding more than 50. Many of the victims were local residents socialising in a park.
The target of the attack was a convoy of police vehicles, officials said, but many of the victims were local residents who had gathered in the area at the end of the Friday holiday to eat and socialise.
"There were two vehicle IEDs (improvised explosive devices)," Javed Faisal, spokesman for the Kandahar provincial governor, told the AFP news agency. "Nine people are dead, including three policemen, and more than 60 people are wounded."
Dr. Samad Ahmadi said at least nine bodies had been brought to Mirwais Hospital and many of the dozens of wounded were in critical condition.
The Kandahar media centre said the bombs were planted in two Toyota Corolla cars and had been detonated at about 7:30 pm local time (15.00 GMT). "This pointless attack on innocent Afghans in a peaceful family park is inexcusable," Kandahar governor Tooryalai Wesa said.
The blast occurred in Aino Mina, a modern housing development on the outskirts of Kandahar. Investors in the development included President Hamid Karzai's businessman brother Mahmoud Karzai.
Aino Mina is home to thousands of Afghan government officials and businessmen. It includes parks, a jogging track and a football field. Residents have special identification badges and cars are usually searched before entering the gates. The project was promoted as a triumph of modernity in Kandahar, which is the spiritual birthplace of the Taliban insurgency.
The attack came a day after a suicide car bomb hit a foreign military convoy in Kabul, killing 15 people including six Americans.
jm/dr (AP, AFP)