LASHKAR GAH: At least 34 people were killed on Thursday when a Taliban car bomb struck a bank in Afghanistan’s Lashkar Gah city as people were queueing to withdraw salaries, the latest bloody attack during the holy month of Ramzan.
The attack comes as the Taliban ramp up their nationwide spring offensive despite government calls for a ceasefire during Ramadan and as the US appears set to boost its troop presence in the country.
The bomb tore through a queue of civilians and government employees who had lined up outside the bank to collect their salaries ahead of the Eid holidays marking the end of Ramzan.
“At least 34 people were killed and 58 others wounded in today’s bombing,” the provincial government said in a statement.
This was the third attack on this bank since 2014, with the Taliban claiming their target was Afghan soldiers and police on their way to withdraw salaries. But the government said most of the victims were civilians, including women and children.
For years, Helmand province, of which Lashkar Gah is the capital, was the centrepiece of the Western military intervention in Afghanistan, but it has recently slipped deeper into a quagmire of instability.