A suicide car bomber detonated his explosives near a hotel in southern Afghanistan, killing at least six people and wounding nearly two dozen Thursday, officials said.
Theblast in Kandahar happened as NATO and Afghan forces were preparing fora joint offensive against Taliban terrorists in the neighboring provinceof Helmand in a major bid to break the Taliban stranglehold on thesouth.
The blastoccurred in a busy commercial area near a major road that is frequentlyused by US officials and other dignitaries in Kandahar, the maincommercial center of the south.
But the six killed, including achild, were near the hotel, according to hospital official MohammadIbrahim. He said 18 people also were wounded.