A suicide bomber on a motorcycle attacked a crowded city square near the governor’s compound in Farah Province today, killing at least 17 people and wounding 36 others.
Officials were quick to blame the Taliban for the strike, but a spokesman for the Taliban insurgents in the area telephoned Reuters to assure them that they had nothing to do with the attack, which killed mostly civilians.
Farah’s chief of police scoffed at the denial, saying they always deny attacks where civilians were killed. He also said police have reason to believe the attacker was a Pakistani.
The attack is the worst civilian strike the region has since since May, when US air strikes killed an estimated 140 civilians. In that case, the Pentagon too repeatedly denied the toll, but then chalked it up to “problems” with the procedure involved.