p0257 BC-Afghanistan 3rdLd-Writethru 05-15 0217
Official: Suicide bomber kills 15 in Afghanistan
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AP Photo GFX286
By AMIR SHAH
Associated Press Writer
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A suicide bomber wearing a burqa killed 15 people and wounded 22 when he blew himself up Thursday in a crowded market in western Afghanistan, a provincial official said.
Three policemen, including a district police chief, and 12 civilians were among the dead. The police tried to stop the bomber seconds before he exploded in the Dilaram district of Farah province, said the provincial official, Younus Rasoul.
Afghanistan is battling a Taliban-led insurgency that is strongest in its east and south. Militants launched more than 140 suicide bombings in the country last year, and many of those killed in the attacks were civilians.
At least 1,200 people — mostly militants — have died in insurgency-related violence in 2008, according to a tally compiled by The Associated Press. The U.N. says more than 8,000 people, most of them militants, died in insurgency-related violence in 2007.