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Jun 30, 7:00 AM EDT

Official: suicide bomb attack kills 30 Afghan trainee police


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KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- A suicide bomber attacked a bus carrying trainee policemen on Thursday, killing 30 people, an Afghan official said.

The attack took place some 20 kilometers west of the Afghan capital, Kabul, according to Mousa Rahmati, the district governor of Paghman. He said the trainee police officers were returning from a training center in Wardak province and were heading to the capital on leave.

A spokesman for the Interior Ministry confirmed the location of the attack and said a loud explosion had been reported, but did not have any further details on the incident.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in an email sent to The Associated Press by spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.

Mujahid said that the attack was the work of two suicide bombers. The first, on foot, targeted the bus carrying the trainee policemen and their instructors. Then a suicide car bomber attacked 20 minutes later, when policemen had arrived at the scene to help, according to Mujahid's account.

Later Thursday, the office of Afghan president Mohammed Ashraf Ghani described the bombing as an "attack on humanity" and ordered an interior ministry investigation into the incident.

In a statement, the U.S. Embassy in Cairo condemned the attack. It also described two attackers, a first targeting the police cadets and the second striking those who rushed to help the victims. "This cruel and complete disregard for human life during the holy month of Ramazan is abhorrent," the statement said.

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