5 killed, 8 injured in Afghanistan bomb blast

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At least five people have been killed and eight wounded in a bomb explosion in Afghanistan’s southern province of Helmand, an official says.

Omar Zawaq, the spokesman for the governor of southern Helmand province, said a motorbike was remotely blown up in a crowded market in the Marjah district on Friday.

The incident took place in a restive area about 25 kilometers from Helmand’s provincial capital, Lashkar Gah.

No person or group has taken responsibility for the incident, though Afghan officials have put the blame on the Taliban militants.

Authorities said the militants were targeting a police convoy in the area.

The Taliban militant group has recently stepped up attacks against US-led and Afghan forces, vowing a new wave of attacks across Afghanistan.

The militant group has said it would use “every possible tactic” to inflict casualties on Afghan and US-led forces. They specifically mentioned insider attacks, and bomb attacks.

The Taliban now controls nearly 80 percent of the Helmand province, local residents say.

The army and police have stepped up their efforts to clear more areas from militants, as Afghanistan is preparing for the presidential and provincial council elections.

The United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan in 2001 as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror. The offensive removed the Taliban from power, but the country is still gripped by insecurity.

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