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Five slain, 10 injured in 2 attacks on Afghans

KABUL, Afghanistan -- A bomb hidden in a cart exploded yesterday in a crowded downtown intersection, injuring 10 people, and five Afghan laborers were ambushed and fatally shot on their way to a US military base in eastern Afghanistan.

Amid a nationwide surge of violence by Taliban-led rebels, 12 attackers died in the south in a clash with police .

The bomb that went off in the Afghan capital had been planted in a hand cart behind a car, said police official Mohammed Nabi. The explosion took place at a busy intersection near the presidential palace, shattering windows at a movie theater and the nearby Justice Ministry.

Six of the 10 people wounded were hospitalized, said Health Ministry official Buz Mohammad Qadiri.

It was unclear what was the intended target of the bombing, police said. An investigation was underway.

Mohammad Rasoul, whose taxi was damaged in the explosion, said he was in the vehicle when the blast went off about 20 feet away.

``The glass windows were blown in toward me. When I turned my head, I saw one man with both legs cut off and he was screaming," said Rasoul, 52.

The attack on laborers occurred Monday in eastern Kunar Province as they rode in a truck to deliver construction wood to a US military base, said Abdul Jalal Jalal, the provincial police chief. A sixth laborer was wounded. The driver of the truck escaped unhurt.

Jalal said he suspected that Taliban militants were responsible for the killings in the Karangal area and that the laborers had been targeted because they were working at the base.

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