Afghan official says suicide bombing kills 1 in the north

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KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An Afghan official says at least one civilian has been killed in an explosion caused when a suicide bomber carried out an attack at a crowded market in northern Balkh province.

Munir Ahmad Farhad, the provincial governor's spokesman, said on Tuesday that the attacker had explosives strapped to his body.

Farhad says 14 people were also wounded in the blast, which happened shortly after noon in the provincial capital of Mazar-i-Sharif.

No group has immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. Taliban insurgents have intensified attacks across the country in their efforts to overthrow the Kabul government.

The U.N. mission in Afghanistan says more than 1,000 civilians have been killed in the first half of this year, most of them by the insurgency, now in its 15th year.

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