Afghanistan: 25 killed by bomber at funeral

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KABUL -- A suicide bomber killed at least 25 civilians and wounded another 30 at a funeral for a village elder in a remote part of eastern Afghanistan, Afghan officials said.

Ahmad Zia Abdul Zai, a spokesman for the provincial governor, said the attack yesterday was in the village of Shagai in the Durbaba district of eastern Nangarhar province.

Initial reports had at least 10 civilians killed. Zai and police said later more than a dozen people died of their injuries.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Fighting against Taliban and other insurgents has been going on in the mountainous region just across the border from some of Pakistan's lawless tribal areas.

Latifullah, the police chief's secretary who goes by one name, said the target was apparently Durbaba district chief Hamisha Gul, who was attending the funeral for the village chief and ranking elder. Gul survived the attack, said deputy police chief for Nangarhar province, Jamil Shamal, but his son was killed when he grabbed the bomber to try to stop him.

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The Taliban often target government officials at public functions, including funerals and weddings. Civilians are often the victims of suicide attacks. On Aug. 14, dozens of people were killed in suicide attacks in Afghanistan.

A recent UN report said 1,145 civilians were killed and 1,954 others injured during the first half of the year, 80 percent of them by militants. -- AP

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