Seventeen dead in Afghan bathhouse bombing

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Ritual prayer-washing

An Afghani suicide bomber killed seventeen people Friday in the southeastern town of Spin Boldak, Afghanistan. The bomb was detonated in a bathhouse Friday afternoon as bystanders conducted their ritual prayer-washing. An additional 23 people were wounded in the midday bombing that left sixteen civilians and one police officer dead.

The Taliban immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. A spokesman for the Taliban, Qari Yousaf Ahmadi, stated the attack was targeted at the second-in-command of a border patrol force in southern Afghanistan. Afghanistan's leader, Hamid Karzai, condemned the attack, as did NATO and US leaders. Karzai's administration has been both fighting the Taliban as well as trying to lure them to the negotiating table.

The US Embassy in Afghanistan issued a statement calling the bombing a "callous terrorist act." US President Barack Obama plans to withdraw all American troops from Afghanistan by 2014.