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At least 13 killed in Helmand explosion

  • Explosion occurred near local market in Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand
  • Officials: Improvised explosive devise was placed on the bike
  • Southern Helmand province center stage in international effort to oust Taliban

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) -- A bicycle-borne bomb killed at least 13 people and injured 45 others Wednesday in Afghanistan's Helmand province, officials said.

The explosion occurred near a local market in the Nahr-e Saraj district. Among the injured were eight children, one woman and a police officer, said provincial spokesman Daoud Ahmadi.

The bomb was placed on the bike, said a statement from the Interior Ministry, but it was unclear whether anyone was riding it. An investigation is underway.

A NATO-led international patrol responded at the scene and ferried the injured to one of their hospitals, Ahmadi said.

Southern Helmand province has been center stage in an international effort to oust the Taliban.

CNN's Atia Abawi and Matiullah Mati contributed to this report.