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Afghan suicide bomber kills 16

A suicide bomber in Afghanistan has killed 16 people on Monday in the capital of Kunduz.

Afghanistan police stand guard as people protest. Picture: AFP.

KUNDUZ - A man wearing an explosive vest blew himself up in a crowded intersection in northern Afghanistan on Monday, killing 10 policemen and six civilians, local officials said.

The policemen were targeted in the urban capital of Kunduz province, police chief Sameullah Qatra said, referring to the most volatile zone of the relatively peaceful north.

"He killed ten policemen and six civilians," Qatra said, adding that 30 more people, including those belonging to the security forces, were also wounded.

No one immediately took responsibility for the attack, which bore the hallmarks of Taliban insurgents.

Monday's suicide bombing came two days after a young teenager detonated explosives near the heavily barricaded NATO headquarters in Kabul, killing six civilians, including children.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for that attack, but denied the bomber was a teenager.

Last week, a suicide bomber detonated an explosives-packed vest at a funeral in eastern Nangarhar province, killing at least 25.

Despite the presence of hundreds of thousands of Afghan and foreign troops fighting the Taliban-led insurgency, violence is at its worst since the Islamists were toppled by Afghan and U.S. forces in late 2001, five years after they took power.

A recent U.N. report said the Taliban were responsible for 80 percent of civilian casualties in the conflict.

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