A car bombing just outside of police headquarters in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar killed at least nine people on Sunday.
The U.S. Embassy condemned the bombing “in the strongest possible terms,” according to a statement. Nineteen others were injured in the attack, which was initially blamed on a suicide bomber.
“By targeting a busy residential neighborhood, the terrorists have once again demonstrated their utter disregard for the safety and security of the Afghan people,” reads the statement.
The media office of Kandahar, via its Twitter feed, said that “insurgents are frequently attacking local civilian[s] throughout Afghanistan” and similarly condemned the attack.
The blast was big enough to break windows in nearby buildings and appears that the bomb was put in a vehicle and detonated remotely, dispelling the idea that it was a suicide attack, reported Al-Jazeera and other media reports.
“It was a heavy explosion, it shook windows. There was gun fire for few minutes afterwards,” Shaedanoo Chowk, a local, told the BBC.
No groups have claimed responsibility yet but Kandahar, the second-largest city in Afghanistan, is considered the birthplace of the Taliban.
On Saturday, the United Nations said that at least 3,021 civilians were killed in the country during the past year. There were 2,790 in 2010 and 2,412 in 2009, according to the broadcaster.