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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 January 2006, 17:05 GMT
Afghans protest at bomb attacks
Site of the suicide blast in Spin Boldak
The attack in Spin Boldak killed more than 20 people
Hundreds of Afghans have demonstrated in the southern town of Spin Boldak, where at least 20 people were killed in a suspected suicide bombing on Monday.

Protesters urged civilians to be spared and condemned the Taleban and Pakistan, which Afghans say shelters militants.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has ordered an inquiry into the bombing.

Meanwhile, the UN has reopened offices just over the border in Pakistan. They shut on Tuesday after a threat which officials now say was not credible.

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Shops and markets in Spin Boldak were closed and the nearby border with Pakistan much quieter than usual amid fears of further attacks.

Two other suspected suicide bombings in Kandahar on Sunday and Monday killed at least seven people, among them a senior Canadian diplomat.

Wrestling match

Kandahar governor Assadullah Khalid said the protesters had gathered to express their outrage at the bloodiest of the three attacks, in Spin Boldak.

The protesters chanted "death to Pakistan, death to al-Qaeda and death to the Taleban" as they marched through the town.

Afghan officials say the suicide bomber who carried out Monday's attack came from Pakistan, where they allege militants live and receive "training".

It is an accusation that has been made before and one that Islamabad denies.

Monday's bombing, which killed civilians at a wrestling match held to mark the Muslim holiday of Eid, has caused real anger and shock in Spin Boldak, the BBC's Catherine Davis says.

Attacks in southern Afghanistan are not unusual. But they generally target foreign troops or Afghans linked to the government.

'Enemies'

President Karzai said he had called for an investigation into where those behind recent attacks had been trained and who supports them.

He blamed the bombing on "the enemies of Afghanistan".

Afghan intelligence officials say their information indicates a group of fighters entered the country at the end of last month.

Amid the rise in violence in Afghanistan, the UN suspended operations just over the border in Pakistan on Monday after a telephone threat to its offices in Quetta.

But on Wednesday, UN staff started going back to work.

"It turned out not to be a credible threat," UN humanitarian co-ordinator in Pakistan Jan Vandemoortele said.


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