A suicide car bomber killed 38 Afghans at a crowded market along the Pakistan border Monday, pushing the death toll from two days of bombs to about 140.
The blast, which targeted a Canadian army convoy, came a day after the country's deadliest insurgent attack since a U.S. invasion defeated the Taliban regime in late 2001. The toll from that bombing, of a crowd watching a dog fight, rose to more than 100.
Officials said Sunday's attacker targeted an anti-Taliban militia leader, Abdul Hakim Jan, who died along with 35 of his men. They were members of a government auxiliary police force.
The back-to-back blasts in the southern province of Kandahar could be a sign insurgents are now willing to risk high civilian casualties while attacking security forces. Militants in Afghanistan have generally sought to avoid targeting civilians, unlike insurgents in Iraq's war.
"They wanted to cause such big casualties in these attacks to weaken the morale of the government and the international community, to show the world the Afghan government is too weak to prevent them," said Nasrullah Stanikzai, a professor of political science at Kabul University.
The Taliban denied it carried out Sunday's attack but claimed responsibility for the bombing in Spin Boldak, about 100 yards from the border with Pakistan.
The bombings come amid warnings that Afghanistan could be more violent this year than in 2007, when a record 6,500 people - most of them militants - were killed. The United States, with a record 28,000 troopsin the country, is sending 3,200 more Marines in April.
Hours before the marketplace bombing, Kandahar Gov. Asadullah Khalid raised the toll from Sunday's attack from about 80 to more than 100, saying some of the dozens of wounded had died.
Khalid said 38 people died in Monday's attack and 28 were injured. Three Canadian soldiers also were injured, NATO said.
Khalid complained that Canadian troops failed to heed warnings to stay away from the Pakistan border. A Canadian military spokesman said threats would not deter troops from their missions.