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Suicide Blast Kills 89 in Afghanistan

July 15, 2014
Afghan authorities say a suicide blast has killed at least 89 people in eastern Afghanistan. Defense Ministry spokesman General Mohammad Zahir Azimi says the bomber detonated his explosives-laden vehicle Tuesday near a crowded market in the Urgun district of Paktika province. Azimi said more than 42 others have been wounded in the attack.
Authorities say the bomber set off the blast while being pursued by police. Several shops were destroyed in the massive explosion, with people trapped under the rubble. There are no immediate claims of responsibility, but the Taliban issued a statement denying involvement in the attack.
Hours earlier in Kabul Tuesday, officials say at least two people were killed when a roadside bomb hit a van carrying those who worked for presidential palace's media office. Five others were wounded in the blast. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. Security remains a major concern in Afghanistan. The United States is scheduled to withdraw most of its forces by the end of the year.