Death toll from Afghanistan blast rises to 68

13 September, 2018, 06:17 | Author: Carlos George
  • World       by Haider Ali | Published

The casualty toll increased overnight as a number of critically wounded protesters died from their injuries.

Gul Majid was among scores of protesters blocking the highway between the provincial capital of Jalalabad and a major Pakistan border crossing when he "heard a big bomb".

It's not clear what the protest was about, nor who carried out the attack.

Khogyani said it targeted a gathering to protest against the appointment of a local police chief and that hundreds of people were present when a suicide attacker detonated explosives.

Attaullah Khogyani, spokesman for the governor of Nangarhar, said 32 people were dead and 128 were wounded in the blast. "At least 20 civilians were killed and more than 60 injured", UNAMA said.

The Taliban denied any involvement.

No other group immediately claimed responsibility, but both Taliban insurgents and the Islamic State group are active in eastern Afghanistan, especially in Nangarhar province.

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The fighting has tempered optimism that had been tentatively growing as Afghan and worldwide players ratchet up efforts to convince the Taliban to negotiate an end to the 17-year conflict.

One blast went off at the entrance of Malika Omaira girls' school in the morning, killing a 14-year-old boy and wounding four other people.

Nangarhar, one of the main strongholds of Daesh terror group since early 2015, has been one of the most volatile regions this year, with a string of suicide bombings and attacks on its capital, Jalalabad.

The explosion at the protest followed a series of smaller blasts on Tuesday that targeted schools in Jalalabad and surrounding districts that were returning after summer breaks.

"Another explosion hit us and I was wounded (in the leg)".

Afghan government forces have struggled to counter attacks from both the Taliban and the IS group since the withdrawal of most North Atlantic Treaty Organisation combat troops in 2014.

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