KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A suicide car bomber struck on Monday in northern Afghanistan's province of Samangan, setting off a large explosion followed by a gun battle between other attackers and Afghan forces, officials said.
The officials said there were casualties but they could not provide the number of fatalities as the fighting was still underway. A provincial hospital chief, Abdul Khalil Musadiq, said at least 43 wounded — mostly civilians and including children — were taken to hospitals in the area.
Mohammad Hashim Sarwari, deputy chief for the provincial council, said the bomber targeted the provincial intelligence service department.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but Taliban are active in the province and have stepped up their attacks recently. There also are rival warlords in the area and some Islamic militants, mostly Uzbeks affiliated more with the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.