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Death toll in suicide bombing in Afghanistan rises to 68

By Sheetal Sukhija, Laos News
12 Sep 2018, 20:57 GMT+10

KABUL, Afghanistan - The death toll from Tuesday's deadly suicide bombing in eastern Afghanistan, that targetted a protest rally, has now risen to 68 deaths, up from the 32 that was earlier confirmed by Provincial government authorities.

On Wednesday, Attahullah Khogyani, a spokesman for the provincial governor said in a statement that the death toll from the suicide bombing that struck a group of protesters from Achin district had been revised to 68.

Khogyani added that 165 people had suffered injuries in the attack that targetted the protesters, who were headed to Momandara district.

The large group of protesters were planning to block the main highway between the capital of Jalalabad and the Torkham border with Pakistan.

They were protesting the behaviour of a local police commander when the bomb went off. 

Following the attack, Captain Qais Saifi from the Nangarhar police department said in a statement, "Around 400 people gathered for the protest and the bomber detonated his vest full of explosive[s] among the crowd."

Strongly condemning the suicide attack against demonstrators in Nangarhar on Tuesday, Afghanistan president Ashraf Ghani said that “attacks on civilian facilities, mosques, women, children, are all crimes against humanity.”

Further, the Afghanistan government noted on Tuesday that the attack saw one of the highest number of casualties that any other attack in the country this year. 

Authorities in the country also noted that following the suicide bombing, a number of other smaller bombs too went off in Afghanistan.

One such attack killed a 14-year-old school boy and four people were injured in another bombing near a school close to Jalalabad. 

In addition, two bombs went off in Behsud district - with both of these attacks too taking place near schools.

Previously, in January this year, a Taliban suicide bombing attack the struck the country's capital of Kabul left at least 103 people dead. 

However, Taliban and ISIS - the two terror groups that carry out near-daily attacks often targetting security forces and government officials in the war torn country denied any role.

ISIS hasn't claimed the attack and the Taliban categorically denied carrying out the attack on Tuesday. 

However, local officials pointed out that a local affiliate of the Islamic State militant organization (ISIS), which has emerged in the region in recent years, has carried out similar brazen and deadly attacks. 

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, officials warned that the violence will likely continue ahead of the country’s October elections.

The warning came as Taliban continues to make gains against Government and allied security forces and ISIS simultaneously intensifies its attacks on the urban population.

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