Explosions rock Afghan New Year, kill 2 civilians

Explosions rock Afghan New Year, kill 2 civilians

A roadside bomb killed two civilians Sunday as a series of blasts targeted people celebrating the Afghan New Year, officials said, AP reported.

The deaths occurred in Khost province southeast of Kabul near a large crowd that gathered at a mountaintop shrine to celebrate Nowruz, the start of spring and the traditional New Year celebrated in Afghanistan, Iran and other countries of central Asia.

The blast also wounded four others, said Khost police Chief Yaqoub Khan, who was about 40 yards (meters) away when the blast occurred but was not injured. He said Afghan and U.S. forces provided enough security to prevent a deadlier attack "but unfortunately the enemy uses every means and planted a bomb just off the road."

The province borders Pakistan and is a major flash point of the Taliban-led insurgency.

Late Saturday, two other explosions shook the city of Jalalabad in Nangarhar province north of Khost, causing no damage or casualties.

The Nangarhar police spokesman, Ghafour Khan, said the bombs went off in a thinly populated area and were designed "to create fear among the people" who were attending concerts and public events marking Nowruz.

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