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November 23, 2012

Suicide Bomber Strikes in Eastern Afghanistan

by VOA News

Afghan officials say a suicide car bomber has attacked government offices in eastern Afghanistan, killing two people and wounding at least 70.  Several NATO service members were slightly wounded in the explosion.

Authorities say the Friday morning blast took place in Maidan Shar, the capital of restive Wardak province.

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the explosion, saying the assault was in response to the executions this week of four Taliban detainees at the Pul-e-Charkhi prison on the outskirts of Kabul.

The four Taliban members were among a total of 14 executed on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Those put to death were convicted of crimes, including murder and rape.

The mass executions were condemned by the United Nations, the European Union and human rights groups.

Executions were common in Afghanistan under the rule of Taliban, which put people to death for murder and adultery.  The use of the death penalty has been rare in Afghanistan since the Taliban fell from power in 2001.