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Suicide bomber kills 7 Afghans at pharmacy

At least seven Afghan civilians were killed in a pharmacy on Monday in a suspected suicide bombing, an official said, the latest attack in a spate of rising violence in the country.

The blast took place in Ghormach, a remote and restive district in a relatively secure area of northwestern Faryab province, provincial governor Abdul Ahad Shafaq said.

"The initial information we have says that either a suicide bomber or a blast has killed seven civilians and wounded eight others," Shafaq said by telephone.

Among the dead was a member of a provincial council in adjacent Badghis province, Shafaq said. The council member was meeting with a group of local residents in a pharmacy when the bomb was detonated.

Shafaq said he was basing his account on radio communications he had received from the isolated area, because mobile phone service was not working.

Shafaq did not have further details and could not say what the target or motive was for the blast, which was also confirmed by an official with Afghanistan's interior ministry.

No group claimed responsibility.

The deaths came a day after unknown gunmen shot dead a Taliban leader-turned-peace-negotiator in a bold attack near a downtown part of the capital, imparting another blow to the central government's efforts to hold peace talks with Taliban-led insurgents.

Hundreds of people mourned the death of the former high-ranking Taliban official who had reconciled with the Afghan government and was trying to bring peace to his homeland.

A gunman in a car assassinated Arsala Rahmani on Sunday, dealing a powerful blow to the fragile, U.S.-backed effort to negotiate a political resolution to the more than decade-long war.

On Thursday, seven members of a family were killed by a roadside bomb in an area of southern Helmand.

There has also been a stream of attacks against American and NATO troops in recent days.

At least eight foreign troops, including Americans, have been killed. Several of the dead, including two British soldiers, were killed by men wearing uniforms from the Afghan security forces.