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Afghan suicide blasts, including one at hospital, kill at least 27

August 14, 2012 |  7:01 am

KABUL, Afghanistan -- Suicide bombers on Tuesday struck a crowded bazaar in Afghanistan and then the hospital where victims were rushed for treatment, killing at least 27 people and injuring 80 more, officials said.

The attack, which appeared to be the most serious of its kind during this year’s observances of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, took place in the town of Zaranj, the capital of Nimruz province, in southwest Afghanistan. Because of the chaos in the aftermath of the blasts, it was feared that the casualty toll could rise.

Fazel Omer Baluch, a spokesman for the provincial government, said in addition to the two bombers who set off their payload of explosives, two other bombers were slain by Afghan security forces before they could blow themselves up.

Insurgents often stage complex attacks involving near-simultaneous bombings, and have sometimes targeted medical facilities, but the notion of deliberately hitting a hospital to which injured people were being brought was shocking even by this war’s standards.

Violence has been on the rise in Nimruz, which borders volatile Helmand province. Earlier this week, a policeman in the province turned his weapon on fellow officers, killing 10 of them.

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-- Laura King and Hashmat Baktash

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