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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Afghan bomb blast toll rises to 78 in 24 hours

Published: Thursday, Dec 8, 2011, 13:04 IST
Place: Kabul | Agency: ANI

The death toll in bombings in Afghanistan has risen to 78 in just 24 hours, even as the Karzai Government continues to blame Pakistan for the attacks.

Nineteen civilians, including seven women and five children, were killed in a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan’s Helmand province on December 7.

Nobody has claimed responsibility so far for the latest blast, which occurred as civilians were travelling from Lashkar Gah to Sangin district in Afghanistan on Wednesday.

The attack came after 59 people were killed in bombings against Shias in Kabul and Mazar-i-Sharif on December 6.

Afghanistan has accused Pakistani militants of trying to destabilise Afghanistan by perpetrating sectarian violence in a country, which is already torn apart by a conflict between NATO troops and Taliban insurgents.

The Taliban have denied they were responsible for the blast, The Daily Times reports.

An Afghan Interior Ministry spokesperson Sediq Sediqqi blamed the attack on “the Taliban and their associates”.

An Afghan security official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the bomber belonged to Pakistan’s Kurram District, and was connected to Sipah-e-Sahaba, a Lashkar-i-Jhangvi offshoot.

Officials anticipated the Afghan Taliban might have helped Pakistani militants to orchestrate the attacks.

The twin blasts have prompted fears that Afghanistan could witness sectarian violence that has pitched Shia against Sunni Muslims in Iraq and Pakistan.

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