Provincial police spokesman Jamal Naser Barekzai blamed the Taliban for the attack, although the militants denied responsibility.
Both the Taliban and the government blame each other for the attacks on civilians in the capital, Kabul, and elsewhere. Perpetrators are rarely identified and the public is rarely informed of the results of investigations into violence.
The war between the Taliban and Afghanistan’s defense and national security forces has escalated in recent months, as US and NATO troops complete their withdrawal from the war-torn country. The Taliban are now trying to seize provincial capitals, having taken smaller administrative districts in recent months.
Afghan armed forces spokesman General Ajmal Omar Shinwari told a news conference Sunday that three provinces in southern and western Afghanistan face critical security situations. The army is trying to intercept the Taliban movement in Helmand province, he added.
Southern Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban, as well as Helmand and Herat provinces have witnessed several attacks.
Helmand provincial council chief Attaullah Afghan said the Taliban increased their forces in the provincial capital of Lashar Gah on Sunday, confirming that insurgents now have control of the city’s seventh district.