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  Tuesday, September 17, 2019
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A suicide bomber blew himself up on Tuesday in eastern Afghanistan,
A suicide bomber blew himself up on Tuesday in eastern Afghanistan, killing at least 16 people and injuring over 40, the local Tolo TV channel said.

The attack came after militants had fired shots and rocket-propelled grenades at a police station in the town of Khogyani. The suicide bomber then detonated his device in the middle of a crowd as civilians fled the fighting.

A man claiming to be a Taliban commander later took responsibility for the attack in a phone call. The hard-line Islamic Taliban movement, which ruled Afghanistan for five years before being toppled by a U.S-led force in 2001, recently pledged to step up suicide attacks in a bid to undermine the Afghan government.

The blast was apparently targeted at the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), which has a total of 47,000 personnel from 40 nations deployed in Afghanistan.

"If the goal of the insurgents was to target ISAF troops operating in the area, they failed," said Brigadier General Carlos Branco, an ISAF spokesman. "If the insurgents' goal was to injure and kill Afghan citizens, they succeeded."

Casualties among ISAF personnel and Afghan National Police are still unknown. According to unconfirmed media reports, high-ranking district officials could have been killed in the attack.

Taliban militants and other Islamic extremists are frequently active in the eastern region of Afghanistan, especially along the border with Pakistan.


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