Tajikistan suicide car bomb injures 25 in Khujand

Police and firefighters at the site of a bomb explosion in Khujand, Tajikistan, 3 September 2010
Image caption Firefighters are searching the rubble of the police building for missing officers

A suicide bomber has driven a car packed with explosives into a police office in Khujand, northern Tajikistan.

Twenty-five people, most of them police officers, were injured when the vehicle exploded at 0800 local time (0300 GMT), killing the bomber.

The blast destroyed parts of the police headquarters and shattered windows in surrounding buildings, officials said.

Several police officers are missing, feared dead in the rubble, AFP news agency reports.

Prison break

Khujand, a city of around 150,000 people, lies in a mountainous area about 340km (211 miles) north of the capital, Dushanbe.

The attack is the latest in a series of security breaches in the volatile republic, which shares a border with Afghanistan and is a conduit for smuggling Afghan opium.

The blast occurred just a day after President Emomali Rakhmon sacked his security chief following a prison break last month in which 25 al-Qaeda-linked militants escaped.

Tajikistan had a five-year civil war between its Moscow-backed government and Islamist-led opposition. The war ended in 1997.

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