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Bomb rocks Afghan governor's office
by ALJ
Tuesday Mar 29th, 2005 10:36 PM
A powerful blast has ripped through a car near the provincial governor's office in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad, killing at least one person, police and a foreign official said.
Police were investigating whether the attack on Wednesday was a "suicide bombing", Abdul Rehman, the police chief of Nangarhar province, said.

"A bomb blast in a parked taxi killed one person in the car and destroyed the back half of the vehicle," which was parked close to the governor's headquarters, Rehman added.

The explosion during the city's morning rush hour at 8.30am (0400 GMT) left the person in the taxi "in pieces", the police chief said.

"At this stage we cannot confirm if the victim was himself a suicide bomber or not. We will know more after investigations," Rehman said.

A security official from a foreign non-governmental organisation who passed the site minutes after the blast said two civilians were killed. Police were not able to confirm this.

"The bomb blast was 50m away from the governor's house and killed two civilians," the security official, who saw the crater left by the explosion, told AFP on condition of anonymity.

US visit

The blast came hours before US First Lady Laura Bush was due to arrive in Afghanistan, which continues to be wracked by an insurgency led by fighters from the ousted Taliban regime.

She was not due to visit Jalalabad and will stay in the capital Kabul.

On Tuesday, two US soldiers were wounded in a small arms attack in south-central Uruzgan province, while six Afghan soldiers were wounded in a separate incident.

A bomb blast in eastern Kabul on Monday injured a Canadian man travelling in a diplomatic car along with three other people. Police have arrested a suspect.

No one has claimed responsibility for any of the attacks, however, US officials have warned of an upsurge in violence during the spring as the Taliban regroup after a bitter winter.