At least 25 people are reported to have been killed and 38 others wounded in a suicide attack in the northern Faryab province of Afghanistan, officials have said.
Dr Naqibullah Fayeq, a prominent member of parliament, said the blast happened in Alamar district’s main market.
The politician said dozens of civilians had been wounded after a suicide bomber using a motorcycle blew his explosives up in the centre of the market.
“Women, children and at least one Afghan army soldier were among those killed,” Faryab’s acting governor Abdul Sattar Barez told AFP news agency.
Alamar district chief Saleh Mohammad Saleh said that some of the wounded were in a critical condition and had been taken to the provincial capital Maimanah.
Al Jazeera’s Jennifer Glasse reporting from the Afghan capital, Kabul, said: “The apparent target of this suicide attack was Afghan security forces but we understand the hospital is full of injured civilians.”
No one has so far claimed responsibility for the bombing, which comes just before another round of peace negotiations between the government and Taliban armed group are due to start.
The attack highlights the heavy toll of such attacks on civilians after 13 years of war.