Afghan police: At least 28 killed in suicide blast

Kabul, Feb 21 (AP) A suicide bomber blew himself up atthe entrance to a government office today in northernAfghanistan, killing at least 28 people, police said.

The attack occurred around noon in Imam Sahib districtof Kunduz province, said district police chief Abdul QayumEbrahimi.

He said the district police and a government officethat distributes official identification papers are bothlocated in the building that was hit by the explosion.

"Today it was very crowded," Ebrahimi said. "Peoplehad gathered in the front of the department to getidentification cards."

He said an unknown number of people were wounded.

There has been sharp slide in security in recentmonths in Kunduz and other northern provinces, where there areknown hide-outs for the Taliban, al-Qaida and fighters fromother militant factions, including the Haqqani network,Hizb-i-Islami and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.

NATO has sent more troops to the north and has beenpushing harder into militant-held areas.

Earlier this month, a bomber killed the district chiefof Chahar Dara in Kunduz province.

In October last year, a powerful bomb killed thegovernor of Kunduz, Mohammad Omar, and 19 others in a crowdedmosque in neighboring Takhar province. Omar was killed justdays after he publicly warned of escalating threats fromTaliban and foreign fighters across the north. (AP)

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