Suicide Bomber Attacks Afghan Hospital

Posted June 25th, 2011 at 7:45 pm (UTC-5)
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A suicide car bomber set off a huge blast Saturday at a hospital in eastern Afghanistan.

The explosion in Logar province, about 40 kilometers from the capital, Kabul, caused heavy casualties, but Afghan authorities gave conflicting estimates. Hours after the attack, officials said they thought the blast killed more than 30 people, including women and children, and wounded dozens more.

The Afghan health ministry initially had reported that up to 60 people were dead and 120 others wounded.

The Taliban said it did not carry out the attack, and that its fighters do not target hospitals. However, the militant group is active in eastern Afghanistan, attacking Afghan and coalition forces, and uses suicide attacks as part of its tactics.

The U.S. embassy joined NATO and Afghan President Hamid Karzai in condemning the attack.

Meanwhile, the NATO coalition said insurgent attacks killed two of its service members Saturday – one in eastern Afghanistan and another in the south of the country. The victims' names and nationalities were not released.

Earlier, authorities in northern Afghanistan said a bicycle bomb that exploded in a bazaar late Friday killed 10 people, including one police officer.

About 24 people, including five women and another policeman, were wounded by the blast in the Khanabad district of Kunduz province.