[QODLink]
Central & South Asia
Afghan intelligence officers killed in blast
Blast went off at sub-station of the country's intelligence agency in the southern province of Helmand.
Last Modified: 08 Oct 2012 16:07
At least 15 people were wounded in the blast, most of them civilians who lived in a house next door [Reuters]

A bomb hidden in a parked minibus has exploded outside a government building in southern Afghanistan, killing two Afghan intelligence officers, authorities said.

Monday's attack targeted a field office of the Afghan intelligence agency, the National Directorate of Security, in the city of Lashkar Gah in Helmand province, said Ahmed Zarak, a spokesman for the provincial government.

He added that at least 15 people were wounded in the blast, most of them civilians who lived in a house next door.

It was not clear whether the explosives were remotely detonated or fixed to a timer, he added.

The two officers who were killed were guarding the compound, which the NDS uses as a base for operations inside Laskgar Gah, the provincial capital, Zarak said.

The number of casualties among Afghan security forces has been on the rise as Afghan troops have shifted into a more frontline role in the war against the Taliban and other insurgent groups as international forces draw down in number.

Civilians have also continued to suffer heavy casualties from bombings and targeted killings.

The outgoing head of the International Red Cross mission in Afghanistan told reporters on Monday that civilians are in greater danger with less hope for peace than when he took up his post seven years ago.

"As the armed conflict in Afghanistan rages on, life for ordinary Afghans has taken a turn for the worse," said Reto Stocker as he prepared to leave the job he has held since 2005.

Stocker said the proliferation of armed groups in the country has continued to make it difficult for the Red Cross to operate and for civilians to seek medical attention when they are caught up in the violence.

Monday's violence came as the International Crisis Group released a report painting a gloomy prediction of Afghanistan's future.

The report said the Afghan government could implode after NATO troops pull out in 2014, particularly if presidential elections are fraudulent.

331

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
A tight race seems likely as 814 million voters elect leaders in world's largest democracy next week.
Featured
A vocal minority in Ukraine's east wants to join Russia, and Kiev has so far been unable to put down the separatists.
Iran's government has shifted its take on 'brain drain' but is the change enough to reverse the flow?
Deadly attacks on anti-mining activists in the Philippines part of a global trend, according to new report.
Activists say 'Honor Diaries' documentary exploits gender-based violence to further an anti-Islamic agenda.
As Syria's civil war escalates along the Turkish border, many in Turkey are questioning the country's involvement.
join our mailing list