Five vehicles filled with explosives detonated together, causing the massive blast, one of the largest in last eight years in Kandahar - once the home of Taliban. Officials fear the death toll may rise

Five car bombs detonated in a single simultaneous blast on Tuesday in Afghanistan's largest southern city, flattening buildings and killing at least 41 people, officials said.

The force of the explosion, just after nightfall, shattered windows around the city and sent flames shooting into the sky. So many houses and nearby buildings had collapsed that officials feared the death toll could rise further.

At least 66 people were wounded, said Gen. Ghulam Ali Wahabat, a police commander in charge of southern Afghanistan.

Afghan officials said the blast appeared to target a Japanese construction company that mostly employs Pakistani engineers. The blast collapsed the company headquarters and destroyed part of a nearby wedding hall, an Associated Press reporter at the scene said.

It wasn't clear why the construction company was targeted.

The AP reporter described the blast as the largest he has heard in nearly eight years of living in Kandahar, the site of several large Taliban attacks in recent years.

This blast destroyed about 40 shops, the AP reporter estimated.

Taliban militants have carried out several complex attacks in Kandahar the last several years.

Keywords: Afghanistanblastcar bomb

More In: International | News