An Afghan policeman is seen through the broken windows of a
vehicle after was hit by a remote-controlled bomb in Kabul.
Photo by Reuters
A car packed with explosives exploded as it sped through
a crowded market in Afghanistan's eastern province of Paktika,
killing at least 89 people, officials said.
The huge explosion took place not far from the porous border
with Pakistan's North Waziristan region, where the military
has been attacking hideouts of the Pakistani Taliban in the
past few weeks, prompting militants to retreat toward
"The number of victims may increase," said General Zahir
Azimi, a defence ministry spokesman.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the attack as a
"despicable criminal act," which was a serious violation of
international law, his spokesman said.
The attack comes at an uneasy time in Afghanistan as the
country recounts votes from a disputed presidential election
which the Taliban have vowed to disrupt.
But the Taliban distanced themselves from Tuesday's attack.
The movement's leaders have ordered militants not to target
"The truth behind this attack will become clear after an
investigation, but we clearly announce that it was not done
by the Mujahedeen of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,"
Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, said in a statement.
"The Mujahedeen do not conduct such attacks and such attacks
do not bring any benefit to them."
A local deputy police chief, Nissar Ahmad Abdulrahimzai, told
Reuters that police had been tipped about the car and were
chasing it when it exploded.
"The explosion was so big it destroyed many shops. Dozens of
people are trapped under the roofs," Mohammad Raza Kharoti,
the district governor, told Reuters.
"The number of wounded will rise to more than 100, and the
number of those martyred will also increase."
In Kabul, a remote-control bomb concealed by a roadside
killed two employees of President Hamid Karzai's media office
and wounded five, police said. The Taliban claimed
The attacks took place as foreign troops are gradually
withdrawing from the country. The United Nations said last
week that civilian casualties jumped by almost a quarter in
the first half of this year as hostilities escalated.