Taliban suicide attack kills 36 Afghans

KUNDUZ, Afghanistan, March 14 (UPI) -- A Taliban suicide bombing killed at least 36 people, including five children, in northern Afghanistan Monday, authorities said.

The children killed were mainly shoeshine boys working outside an Afghan army recruiting center in Kunduz, police, witnesses and hospital officials told The New York Times.


The attack was the fourth suicide bombing in the province since February, defying the usual winter lull in fighting.

The Taliban have said they are shifting their fight to northern areas such as Kunduz while American forces increase in other regions such as the insurgents' stronghold of Kandahar. The Kunduz governor and police chief have been among those killed recently.

The Kunduz sector is assigned to the German army, whose offensive operations are constrained by post-World War II "national caveats."

President Hamid Karzai condemned the "vile attack" and said it would drive more volunteers to join the fight.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid took responsibility and identified the suicide bomber as a Kunduz resident named Saifullah. The shoeshine boys, he said, "were in the wrong place at the wrong time."

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