Bomb Attack Aimed at Police Chief Killed 12 in Afghanistan

A bomb blast has killed at least 12 people and wounded some 20 others in western Afghanistan, Afghan police say.

Officials say the blast occurred early Monday. Two of the people killed were police, Voice of America reports.

A woman and a child were among the dead, he said. The police chief of the nearby district of Ingil was also wounded, AFP reports.

The attack appeared to be aimed at Mohammad Issa, the police chief for nearby Injil district, Raouf Ahmedi, a police spokesman, told The Associated Press. Mr. Issa was being transferred to a NATO-run hospital in critical condition, he said.

Herat is the major city in western Afghanistan. It is considered relatively peaceful, but has been struck by sporadic bombings and suicide attacks.

Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, a Taliban spokesman, said that the attack on Monday “was specifically arranged for the police chief,” The New York Times reports.

President Hamid Karzai, considered the front-runner in the vote, condemned Monday's bombing and urged police to track down its perpetrators. "This is another attempt by the terrorists to disrupt democracy and development in Afghanistan," Karzai said in a statement issued by his office, The Associated Press reports.