National & World News

Apr 18, 8:50 AM EDT

Afghan president: Islamic State group claims suicide blast

AP Photo
AP Photo/

Buy AP Photo Reprints
Latest News
Afghan president: Islamic State group claims suicide blast

For Afghan women, violence remains entrenched despite gains

Afghan women activists face rising violence, Amnesty says

Afghan official: Floods in north kill 5, damage 400 houses

Afghan woman killed by mob becomes icon for justice, rights

US troops spending Christmas

FAIZABAD, Afghanistan (AP) -- Afghanistan's president says that the Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed at least 33 people.

Officials say the attack in Jalalabad on Saturday also wounded 105 people.

Speaking in Faizabad, President Ashraf Ghani said: "In the horrific incident in Nangarhar (province), who took responsibility? The Taliban didn't claim responsibility. Daesh claimed responsibility for it."

Daesh is an Arabic acronym for the Islamic extremist group.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

A suicide bomb attack on a bank branch in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad has killed at least 33 people, officials said.

Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, spokesman for the provincial governor in Nangarhar province, said on Saturday that 105 people were also wounded in the attack in the provincial capital.

"There are reports of many wounded people in critical condition at the hospital," Abdulzai said.

The attacker detonated an explosive-laden motorcycle, targeting a crowd of both military personnel and civilians who were gathered outside the bank to receive their monthly salaries. The bank branch is located in the heart of a crowded commercial district, full of banks and government offices, Abdulzai said.

The force of the blast shattered windows miles away and damaged several businesses and cars in the vicinity. Security forces blocked off the area to allow ambulances and rescue crews to care for the wounded.

"More than 100 wounded and around 33 dead bodies have been brought to the hospital," said Dr. Hamayon Zaheer, head of Jalalabad hospital.

Shir Aqha, an Afghan army soldier who was receiving treatment for wounds suffered in the attack, said that he had received his salary from the bank, but was still in the area when the blast took place.

"A motorcycle came in and I think a man in a suit entered inside the crowd and detonated his explosive. I hear two sounds of explosions and I can't remember after that," he said.

Another blast was reported Saturday near a shrine in Jalalabad, but no one was hurt. A third blast was also heard in Jalalabad, but it was later reported as a controlled explosion by the Afghan army in Nangarhar, Abdulzai said.

Meanwhile another bombing in the Behsud district of Nangarhar province killed one civilian and wounded two others, Abdulzai said, adding that it appears a magnetic bomb was attached to a parked car and then detonated by remote control.

The Pakistani government, which is coordinating with Afghanistan on counter-terrorism issues, condemned the Saturday attacks. A statement released by the Pakistani Foreign Ministry called the bombings cowardly and indiscriminate, and said attacks against civilians have no justification under any circumstances.


Associated Press writer Zarar Khan in Islamabad contributed to this report.

© 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.