Two bombs hidden in fruit carts exploded Wednesday in the eastern city of Jalalabad, killing one person and wounding 26, and an Australian journalist was reported missing in a region where Taliban guerrillas are active.
The two explosions occurred almost simultaneously about 200 yards apart in a crowded commercial district of Jalalabad. One man died of his wounds, and 26 people, including five children and three policemen, were hurt.
Provincial spokesman Faizanullhaq said the bombs were hidden in fruit carts parked near security posts.
A security official, Abdul Rehman, called the bombings "the work of terrorists."
The blasts came four days after a bomb killed two women working in Jalalabad to register female voters for the U.N.-Afghan elections, an attack claimed by Taliban guerrillas. However, a Taliban spokesman denied responsibility for Wednesday's blasts, saying the group did not target civilians.
The Taliban and al Qaeda have vowed to step up attacks on foreign forces, local troops and aid workers in a bid to disrupt national elections to be held in September. U.S. and Afghan forces toppled the Taliban in late 2001 for harboring the al Qaeda network, which carried out the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States.
In southern Afghanistan, Carmela Baranowska, a documentary filmmaker with Australia's SBS Television, and her Afghan assistant and driver were reported missing in a region where the Taliban is most active.
Officials said the three disappeared on a road between Kandahar, capital of the province of the same name, and Girishk in the neighboring province of Helmand.
"According to the report, this lady's vehicle broke down between Girishk and Kandahar, but I don't know whether she has been kidnapped or has left that area," said Jalani Khan, head of security in the southern province of Zabul, adjoining Kandahar.
A Taliban spokesman said the Islamic guerrillas had captured a foreign woman and an Afghan man, but another spokesman said they were not holding Baranowska.