At least 35 people have been killed by a car bomb in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar.
Police said the blast on Tuesday was a suicide attack near a wedding hall in a residential area of the city.
Al Jazeera's James Bays, reporting from the capital, Kabul, said two hospitals had reported the toll at 35, with 90 people injured.
All the dead were civilians - among them many women and children – and the wedding hall was destroyed, our correspondent said.The bomb went off shortly after dusk fell and people were breaking their Ramadan fast.
Ahmed Wali Karzai, a representative of Kandahar provincial council, told Al Jazeera: "There are still some people trapped.
We have people trying to get them out of the rubble."
Agha Lalai, another council member, said the blast "felt like an earthquake. The power went off and there was a huge explosion".
The bomb went off near a guest house frequented by foreigners, near the Kandahar provincial intelligence headquarters.
|At least 90 people were injured|
in the attack [AFP]
There was no immediate claim of responsibility but a government spokesman blamed the attack on Taliban-linked groups.
Kandahar is the biggest city in southern Afghanistan, an area where Taliban fighters battling the Western-backed government continue to have strongholds.
The city was the powerbase of the former Taliban government, which was ousted from power in Afghanistan by US-led troops in 2001 and replaced with the Western-backed administration of Hamid Karzai.
The Taliban have struck repeatedly in recent weeks in a bloody countdown to nationwide elections last week, only the second time that war-weary Afghans have voted for a president in their history.
And the attack came on the same day that official preliminary results were released, giving Karzai a slight lead over nearest rival Abdullah Abdullah in the race to be president.
Earlier in the day, four US soldiers operating with Nato were killed in a bomb blast in the south of the country.
The US military said the soldiers had been killed by an improvised explosive device.
The deaths make August the second most deadly month for US troops in Afghanistan since the 2001 invasion so far.
Also on Tuesday, a British soldier who was wounded while on patrol on August 15 in Helmand province, died in hospital, the British defence ministry said.
Source: Al Jazeera (English)