KANDAHAR (AFP) A series of up to five bombs killed nine people, mostly children, detonating in quick succession as crowds gathered late Tuesday in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar, officials said. It was the second consecutive evening that explosions ripped through the city, which the Taliban, masterminds of a nine-year insurgency against the Western-backed government, consider their stronghold. There were five explosions. When the first explosion happened, people and police went to the area. It was followed by a second, by a third and up to five explosions, said Kandahar provincial government spokesman Zalmai Ayoubi. In total, nine people were killed, including one policeman. Eight are children and 26 other people are wounded, most of them civilians, he said. The spokesman said the explosions were caused by bombs planted on the roadside at a busy junction in the south of the city. The casualty statistics were confirmed by Abdul Qayoum Pukhla, head of the Kandahar public health department. Earlier, the Afghan deputy mayor of Kandahar city died after being seriously wounded in an assassination attempt in the Talibans power base, an official said. Noor Ahmad Nazari, 55, was shot by two attackers riding on motorbikes while going home from work on Monday, provincial police chief Sardar Mohammad Zazai told AFP. The assailants escaped. He died of his wounds in the hospital overnight, Zazai said. Police blamed the killing on enemies of Afghanistan - a common reference to the Taliban. Nazari had been on the job only six months, appointed after deputy mayor Azizullah Yarmal was shot dead at point blank range while praying at his local mosque in April.