Dozens killed in Kabul suicide bombings, Kandahar blast

Security forces remove a damaged bus after Tuesday's blasts near the Afghan parliament in Kabul.

Story highlights

  • At least 36 killed in Kabul blast
  • A relative of former Afghan president was killed in Kandahar

(CNN)Deadly attacks ripped across Afghanistan on Tuesday, with two suicide bombings near the Afghan Parliament in Kabul, an explosion at a Kandahar province government compound and a suicide bombing in Helmand province -- strikes leaving dozens of people dead and wounded, US and Afghan officials said.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the Kabul attacks, which killed at least 36 people and injured 76 others in the capital, according to Saleem Rasooli, head of Kabul hospitals.
    Separately, an explosion in Kandahar killed at least 11 people and injured 14 others, Samim Khpalwak, the provincial governor's spokesman told CNN. The victims included the deputy governor of Kandahar, the spokesman said.
    Five Emirati humanitarian workers were also among those killed in the Kandahar attack, the official Emirati news agency WAM reported. The president of the United Arab Emirates declared three days of mourning for the victims.
    Others wounded included the Emirati ambassador to Afghanistan and the Kandahar province governor.
    The UAE said it regarded the incident as a terror attack.
    In Helmand province, a suicide bomber killed at least seven Afghans, including both civilian and military personnel, the National Security Council said.
    The US Embassy in Kabul condemned the "heinous' blasts in the three areas.
    The UN said those responsible for carrying out the attacks must be held held accountable.
    "Such unprincipled, unlawful and deplorable attacks cause immense human suffering and make the peace that Afghans need and deserve even more difficult to achieve," said Pernille Kardel, the Secretary-General's Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan.
    "Those responsible for these attacks must be held accountable," said Kardel.

    Kabul suicide strikes

    The Kabul blasts targeted a van carrying administrative staffers of the Afghan parliament near the parliament compound and the private American University of Afghanistan.
    Video distributed by Reuters showed numerous armed security personnel standing near the scene.
    The violence began when a suicide attacker on foot detonated a bomb near the van, Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Seddiqi said.
    The second blast came from a vehicle that exploded when police arrived to help victims, said Ahmad Wali, a Kabul district police chief.
    Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said the Taliban were targeting members of the Afghanistan's intelligence agency.
    The blasts happened in the late afternoon on Darulaman Road, according to the university.
    The university was at least indirectly affected by attacks and kidnappings by Taliban-linked insurgents last year.
    In August, two teachers -- an American and an Australian -- were abducted near the school. Days later, a rescue attempt by US Special Operations forces from SEAL Team 6 failed when the teachers were not found at the targeted location.
    Three weeks after the kidnappings, gunmen wearing suicide vests stormed the campus and killed 12 people, including students, security guards and police.
    The American University of Afghanistan opened in 2006. It's the only private, nonprofit, coed university in