At least 34 people were killed and nearly 60 others wounded in a car bomb in the provincial capital of Lashkargah on Thursday, health officials confirmed.
The incident happened at about 12 noon local time, a spokesman for the provincial governor Omar Zwak said.
Officials said a suicide bomber detonated a car loaded with explosives in front of the crowded New Kabul Bank building in Lashkargah and that the majority of victims were civilians who had lined up to cash their salaries ahead of Eid-al-Fitr.
“Teachers and civilians had lined up in front of New Kabul Bank to get their salaries when the car bombing took place; many civilians were killed and injured in the bombing,” said Abdul Salam Afghan, spokesman for Helmand police headquarters.
However, eyewitnesses said there had also been many policemen and military personnel who were at the bank at the time.
“There was a huge car bombing; police officers had come from other districts as well as some other military personnel to receive their money; then the car bombing happened and many people were killed,” said an eyewitness Yar Mohammad.
According to reports, many of those wounded in the blast are in critical condition.
Residents report a fair amount of damage was sustained to buildings in the area. An MSF hospital, also sustained damage in the explosion but despite this they also took in casualties.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.
President Ashraf Ghani said on Thursday after the incident that insurgents have no respect for Ramadan and continue to take the lives of innocent civilians.
According to Ghani, the recent attacks on people in Kabul, Herat and now in Helmand indicates that these insurgents do not believe in any religion, but are an enemy of the human race.