An Afghan official says an explosion at a market place in the western Laghman province has killed two civilians and wounded 16.

Sarhadi Zwak, spokesman for the provincial governor, says the blast took place in the Alisha district in the morning hours on Thursday, when the market was packed with shoppers.

In northern Sari Pul province, the governor's spokesman Zabiullah Amani says 17 people have been kidnapped by insurgents in Balkhab district. He says negotiations are underway for their release.

Elsewhere, Gen. Mohammad Aaman Mammorzai says two Afghan men and a woman working for an international aid organization were shot dead in the Shekh Ali district of northwestern Parwan province on Wednesday.

Mammorzai, who is the provincial police chief, says three people have been arrested.