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Many killed in suicide attack in northern Afghanistan

More than a dozen people have been killed and many others wounded in bomb blast at a busy market in northern Afghanistan. This is the latest attack carried out in the run-up to the country’s presidential election.

The governor of northern Afghanistan's Faryab province told news agencies that Tuesday's explosion had been caused by a suicide bomber who set off his bomb at a checkpoint in Maymana city.

"The blast happened on the main roundabout, which was very crowded. The bomber used a three-wheeler packed with explosives," he said.

News agencies put the death toll at between 13 and 15, with dozens of others wounded.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which occurred in an area where Islamist Taliban and allied militants groups are known to be active.

Threats to disrupt campaign

The Taliban have threatened to carry out a campaign of violence

aimed at disrupting the

campaign for Afghanistan's presidential election,

to be held in three weeks' time.

There have been numerous such attacks in Faryab province in the past, including one in October 2012, in which 41 people were killed and many others injured after a suicide bomber targeted a mosque packed with senior regional officials.

The April 5 election is to choose a successor to

outgoing President Hamid Karzai

. The new head of state will be faced with leading the country into an era without foreign troops to help maintain security, after the last US and NATO combat troops withdraw from the country at the end of 2014.

pfd/kms (AP, AFP)

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