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Afghan suicide attacks kill 36: official


A group of suicide bombers killed at least 36 people in the capital of Afghanistan's southwestern Nimroz province on the border with Iran, the provincial governor said Tuesday.


The attack on Zaranj city is the biggest in recent memory in the relatively peaceful province that avoids most of the bloodshed of Afghanistan's decade-long insurgency by Taliban Islamists.


Three suicide attackers out of an original group of 11 blew themselves up in separate areas of the city, one outside a hospital, police said.


"This was a group of 11 attackers who wanted to conduct simultaneous attacks across the city," deputy provincial police chief Mujibullah Latifi told AFP.


"Security forces killed two of the suicide attackers last night and detained three others this morning. Three managed to detonate themselves while three others were gunned down."


"We have confirmation that 21 civilians and 15 members of the security forces have been killed in these attacks and more than 66 others injured," provincial governor Abdul Karim Brahawi told AFP.


There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but similar attacks are usually blamed on Taliban insurgents fighting to overthrow the Western-backed government of President Hamid Karzai.


NATO has some 130,000 US-led troops helping the government fight the Taliban, but they are due to pull out in 2014.


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