The explosion occurred in the Helmand provincial capital, Lashgar Gah.
Local police chief Ghulam Nabi Malakhail says the bomb was planted inside the office of the local justice department director, who was killed in the blast.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but local law enforcement officials are blaming "enemies of the country," a term used to refer to Taliban or Al-Qaeda militants.
Violence has increased in southern Afghanistan since government and coalition forces launched a major offensive against militants in the region.
Elsewhere, militants in the east of the country have destroyed an elementary school, leaving some 500 schoolchildren with no classrooms. Paktika Province Governor Mohammad Akram said the July 16 bombing was the latest in a series of attacks on schools in the province. No one has been injured in the various incidents, which Akram said are being carried out by "enemies of knowledge and science."
(Reuters, AP, AFP)
Afghan President Hamid Karzai (left) with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf in Islamabad in October 2005 (epa)
ACROSS A DIFFICULT BORDER. The contested border between Pakistan and Afghanistan is some 2,500 kilometers long and runs through some of the most rugged, inhospitable territory on Earth. Controlling that border and preventing Taliban militants from using Pakistan as a staging ground for attacks in Afghanistan is an essential part of the U.S.-led international coalition's strategy for stabilizing Afghanistan. Officials in Kabul have been pointing their fingers at Pakistan for some time, accusing Islamabad or intelligence services of turning a blind eye to cross-border terrorism targeting the Afghan central government. Many observers remain convinced that much of the former Taliban regime's leadership -- along with leaders of Al-Qaeda -- are operating in the lawless Afghan-Pakistani border region.... (more)