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A warlord's stockpile of explosives detonated in a remote Afghan village Monday
A warlord's stockpile of explosives detonated in a remote Afghan village Monday, flattening a half dozen houses and a mosque and killing at least 26 people in what appeared to be the deadliest accident of its kind since the ouster of the Taliban regime. The blast shook this farming hamlet in the mountains of Baghlan province, 75 miles north of Kabul, about dawn, also injuring at least 30 villagers. There was disagreement over the type of explosives that detonated with villagers saying they were for road-building. Afghan officials insisted the house hid an illegal weapons cache, highlighting the danger from old arms piled up in a quarter-century of war and the task of disarming commanders wary of rivals and the country's U.S.-backed government, informs China Daily. According to VOA News, Afghanistan is awash with old weapons after years of conflict. The government began a drive to disarm private armies in 2003, but much ordnance remains uncollected. Mr. Mashal says an investigation into the exact cause of the deadly explosion is underway. "So far we do not know if it was an accident or was it destructive action of the terrorist or what," he said. Baghlan province, where the blast occurred, is not a stronghold for Taliban insurgents and Mr. Mashal says factional fighting between warlords is a possible cause. Afghanistan has seen a number of explosions at arms depots in recent years, but this blast was the most deadly.
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