Blasts Kill 24 in South Afghanistan

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan -- A suicide bomber on a motorcycle blew himself up next to a police patrol in southern Afghanistan on Sunday, killing 24 people, including 19 civilians, said a provincial police chief.

The attack in the southern province of Uruzgan also killed five police officers and wounded more than 30 others, said Juma Gul Himat.

The bomber struck the police patrol at a busy intersection of Deh Rawood district, Himat said. The bombing also damaged or destroyed about nine shops in the area, he said.

Most of those killed and wounded were shopkeepers and young boys selling cigarettes and other goods in the street, Himat said.

Afghan civilians have suffered from a rash of bombings this month. Around 55 civilians were killed in a massive bomb attack on the Indian Embassy in Kabul on Monday, while a government commission said this week that U.S. airstrikes killed 47 civilians in eastern Nangarhar province on July 6.

In eastern Kunar province, fighting erupted when militants attacked a NATO International Security Assistance Force outpost, the military alliance said in a statement.