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Bomb kills 4 civilians in southern Afghanistan; presidential vote recount halts before holiday

An Afghan official says a bomb blast has killed four civilians in the country's south as a recount in the presidential election halted before a major holiday.

Omer Zwak, a spokesman for the governor of Helmand province, said a bomb hidden in a motorcycle killed the civilians in Marjah district. He says the blast wounded four people.

Roadside bombings have escalated as the Taliban intensifies their campaign ahead of the withdrawal of U.S.-led foreign forces at the end of this year.

Meanwhile in Kabul, Afghanistan's Independent Election Commission stopped a recount in the runoff presidential election. Commission chairman Ahmad Yousuf Nouristani told reporters that the recount will resume later next week after celebrations marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.