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Conflict

Blasts in southern Afghanistan

Two suicide bombers have killed at least four people at Spin Boldak in Afghanistan's southern province of Kandahar. The attack comes only weeks after a Pentagon report claimed that Kandahar's violence had dropped.

Two suicide bombers targeted a regular meeting of local residents with community leaders at a government compound in Spin Boldak, a town 100 kilometers from Kandahar city and close to the border with Pakistan.

"There has been a twin suicide bombing in the Spin Boldak council building. The blasts were inside the hall during a meeting of tribal elders," said Jawed Faisal, a spokesman for the governor of Kandahar province.

Police said four civilians were killed and 15 others were injured in the attack.

"Every Sunday the local shura [council] meet at the administrative building, that is where the attack happened," said Mohammad Ali, the border police chief in Spin Boldak also said.

"Two suicide attackers detonated themselves during the meeting."

Witnesses recalled hearing two explosions and an outbreak of small arms fire.

A violent province

Kandahar Province, which is the traditional power seat of Pashtuns - Afghanistan's largest ethnic group - and has been sought out by Islamist terrorist groups, and including al Qaeda and the Haqqani network.

A Pentagon progress report published in December for the six months ending September 30 said that enemy-initiated attacks had plummeted 62 percent in Kandahar compared with a year ago.

sej/ipj (AP, AFP)