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Jalalabad Suicide Attack: 36 Die As Bomber Hits Crowds Near Bank

At least 36 people were killed and more than 110 injured after a suicide attacker detonated near a crowd of Afghans waiting to withdraw their salaries.
/ Source: NBC News

At least 36 people were killed and more than 110 injured after a suicide attacker detonated a bomb near a crowd of workers lining up to withdraw their salaries in eastern Afghanistan Saturday, police said.

The blast hit a crowded market near a bank in Jalalabad, the provincial capital near the border with Pakistan, according to officials.

An ISIS spokesman claimed responsibility for the blast.

"It was very powerful and destroyed many shops and offices," said Gen. Fazel Ahmad Sherzad, provincial police chief for Nangarhar province. He noted that the death toll could likely rise.

The attacker, who was riding a motorcycle, detonated his explosives while both military personnel and civilians were waiting to receive their salaries from the bank, Sherzad said.

Jalalabad Provincial Hospital received more than 150 of the wounded and was overwhelmed, Dr. Najibullah Kamawal told NBC News.

"The hospital is unable to cope and in dire need of blood. We call on citizens to come forward and donate blood," he said.

While ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, the Taliban quickly denied any involvement and condemned the brutality. "We reject and condemn the explosions against civilians near a bank and a shrine in Jalalabad," Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid tweeted.

Another blast was reported near a shrine in Jalalabad Saturday morning in which no one was hurt, said Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, spokesman for the provincial governor in Nangarhar.



— Fazul Rahim and Mushtaq Yusufzai, with The Associated Press