A suicide bomber on a motorized rickshaw detonated explosives Monday in a marketplace in southern Afghanistan, killing 28 people in one of the deadliest bombings since the fall of the Taliban. Children selling chewing gum and cigarettes were among the victims.
The attacker was apparently targeting a police commander when he detonated his bomb near a taxi stand around 6:30 p.m. in the town of Gereshk in Helmand province, the world’s largest poppy-growing region and site of the country’s worst violence this year.
Gereshk district chief Abdul Manaf Khan said 28 people were killed, including 13 police and 15 civilians. The provincial chief of public health, Enayatullah Ghafari, said the hospital recorded 26 deaths and 60 wounded, though he said some of the dead probably weren’t brought to the hospital and the death toll was likely higher.
Nine U.S. troops killed in Iraq
The U.S. military reported the deaths of nine soldiers Monday – including seven killed in a vehicle accident.
In western Baghdad, seven U.S. soldiers were killed in a vehicle accident that also claimed the lives of two detainees, the military said. Eleven soldiers from Multinational Division-Baghdad and one detainee were also injured in the west Baghdad accident, the military said without giving further details. The U.S. statement made no mention of hostile fire.
A U.S. spokesman, Lt. Col. Scott Bleichwehl, said all the victims were traveling in the same vehicle.
Another U.S. soldier was killed and two were injured when their vehicle overturned east of the capital, the military said in a statement. The military also said a soldier died Sunday of wounds suffered in fighting near Kirkuk in northern Iraq.
Crime industry earns $2 trillion
Organized crime may have brought in more than $2 trillion in revenue last year, about twice all the military budgets in the world combined, a report issued Monday said.
The “State of the Future” report, published by the Millennium Project of the World Federation of United Nations Associations, said organized crime entities generated income from money laundering, counterfeiting and piracy, and the trafficking of drugs, people and arms.
One of the countries it singled out was North Korea, which it said makes an estimated $500 million to $1 billion annually from criminal enterprises.
Despite the work of international organizations like the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime and other groups, the report said organized crime “continues to grow and has not surfaced on the world agenda in the way that poverty, water, and sustainable development have.”
“This is gigantic and it’s not being addressed well,” said Jerome Glenn, head of the Millennium Project and one of the authors of the report.
The report called organized crime one of the most pressing global issues that needs to be addressed in the next 10 years, along with global warming, terrorism, corruption and unemployment.
From wire reports