June 22 (UPI) -- At least 29 people died in an explosion Thursday outside a Helmand province, Afghanistan, bank, a spokesman for the provincial governor said.
A car bomb detonated outside the New Kabul Bank in Lashkargah, the provincial capital, as hundreds of people gathered near the bank at noon to collect their salaries. The blast injured another 60, with the casualty toll expected to rise, Hayatullah Hayat, provincial governor, said.
His spokesman, Omar Zwak, added that civilians and military personnel were among the dead and injured.
Afghanistan's Tolo News reported earlier that gunmen entered the bank building, but Zwak said that bank security guards began firing after the bomb exploded.
Taliban and Islamic State forces are active in the area, but no group has yet taken responsibility for the incident. It came at the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, a time for celebration. A series of attacks have occurred in Afghanistan in recent weeks in what is regarded as an annual spring offensive by the Taliban.
Five police officers died and about 30 people, largely civilians, were injured Sunday in an explosion in Gardez, where three others died when another New Kabul Bank branch was attacked in May. On May 31, about 150 people died in a bombing in Kabul.