A suicide bombing outside a bank in southern Afghanistan on Thursday killed close to 30 people, many of them teachers and security personnel collecting their salaries.
Police said at least 26 people were killed and 59 wounded in the attack outside a Kabul Bank bank in Lashkargah, the capital of the southern Afghan province of Helmand.
Among the dead and wounded were "civilians, teachers, and, army, national police and border police personnel" who were standing in line at the bank to collect their salaries, Noor Aqa Kintooz, Helmand police chief, told dpa.
The attack comes ahead of Eid celebrations on Sunday, marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. The government usually transfers salaries, including a bonus, early so people can buy presents and delicacies for the festivities.
Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah condemned the attack, which he said targeted "innocent Muslims in the holy month of Ramadan."
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack so far.
Helmand is a Taliban stronghold and the extremist group controls about 80 per cent of the province. The Taliban regularly targets banks in order to kill government employees collecting their pay.
At the end of May, at least seven people were killed and 31 were injured when a Kabul Bank branch in Paktia province was attacked by militants.
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