At least six people were killed Saturday when a Taliban bomber rammed an explosives-laden car into Afghan soldiers who had queued outside a bank in southern Helmand province to collect their salaries, officials said.
Nearly two dozen others, including women and children, were wounded in the explosion in the capital Lashkar Gah, many of them critically.
The Taliban, who control vast swathes of the opium-ravaged province and have repeatedly threatened to seize Lashkar Gah, claimed responsibility for the bombing, calling it revenge for recent US airstrikes in the volatile district of Sangin.
“A suicide car bomber killed six people, including five soldiers, and 21 others were wounded,” Helmand police chief Agha Noor Kentoz told AFP.
Omar Zhwak, the provincial governor's spokesman, confirmed the casualties from the bombing, which upturned military vehicles and left the area strewn with charred debris.