We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Spin Boldak lies just off the Pakistani border, a particularly volatile region for insurgent activity. Google Maps

Afghan suicide bomber kills 17 in public baths

A suicide bomber, linked to the Taliban, kills a police commander and 16 others in Kandahar wnear the Pakistani border.

17 PEOPLE – including a police commander – have been killed following a suicide bombing in the Afghanistan city of Kandahar, not far from the border with Pakistan.

The attack, which took place at lunchtime local time this afternoon, saw the bomber detonate explosives attached to his chest in the popular and crowded Spin Boldak baths in the city.

A further two policemen were wounded in the attack, for which the Taliban has claimed responsibility, AFP reports.

A spokesman for the governor of the region, which has seen significant terrorist and insurgent turmoil in recent months, said the police commander had been the sole target of the attack, who was the head of the region’s rapid reaction police border unit.

The spokesman labelled the bombing “the work of the enemies of Islam and humanity”. President Hamid Karzai, meanwhile, said the attack was “brutal”.

Al-Jazeera quotes a local shopkeeper as saying the baths had been particularly busy at the time, as many bathed in the facility before attending lunchtime prayers:

The public baths were destroyed. Lots of dead bodies were picked out of the rubble at the beginning and afterwards. Different people were killed in this explosion – old people, even children.

A Taliban spokesperson told AFP later that the force’s militia had targeted the policeman because he often had the rest of the baths cleared out when he wanted to bathe there.

“Only his men could use it at the same time as him,” he said, denying that any civilians had died. ”Today is Friday (the weekly Muslim day of rest). There weren’t any civilians inside.”

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.