Death toll in Tuesday suicide attack soars to 68: Afghan officials

JALALABAD, Afghanistan, Sept 12, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – The death toll from a
suicide attack on Afghan protesters has soared to 68, officials said
Wednesday, as violence flares across the country ahead of elections and a key
Islamic holy day.

Another 165 were wounded in the blast — one of the deadliest attacks this
year — on Tuesday in the eastern province of Nangarhar, provincial governor
spokesman Ataullah Khogyani said.

There has been no claim of responsibility for the massacre, but the Islamic
State group, which has carried out most of the recent suicide bombings in
Afghanistan, is active in the province.

The Nangarhar health department confirmed the toll.

Scores of demonstrators had blocked the highway between the provincial
capital of Jalalabad and a major Pakistan border crossing in protest over the
appointment of a local police chief when the suicide bomber blew himself up.

The dead and wounded were rushed to several hospitals in the back of pickup
trucks and ambulances, overwhelming doctors and nurses as they struggled to
cope with the huge number of casualties.

It was the deadliest attack since an ambulance packed with explosives
detonated in a crowded street in the heart of Kabul in January, killing more
than 100 people, mostly civilians. That bombing was claimed by the Taliban.