While Afghanistan waits in a political limbo over who has won the Presidential race, a massive truck bomb has exploded in the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar killing at least 40 civilians.
The explosion, which witnesses said shook the city like an earthquake, came as Afghans were shopping for food at the end of their daily fast during Ramadan.
It is uncertain what the target was, although the Afghan Intelligence service had an office in the area.
Elsewhere in the south four more US servicemen were killed by a roadside bomb making 2009 the deadliest for foreign forces in 8 years of war.
Partial election results based on ten per cent of votes counted give incumbent President Karzai a slight lead with 41 per cent of the ballot.
This is against 39 per cent for his nearest rival, his former foreign minister, Dr Abdullah Abdullah.
Both men have made fraud allegations against each other.
Dr Abdullah said: “We will not allow big fraud to decide the outcome of the elections, there is no doubt that the state crafted, very widespread engineered fraud has been under way.”
Afghanistan’s Independent election Commission says it will release more results over the next few days.
Although Mr Karzai appears to be ahead, officials are cautioning against reading too much into early results.