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Afghan President Announces 3 Days of Mourning for Bombing Victims

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has declared three days of national mourning for 41 people killed in a suicide bombing Tuesday in northern Afghanistan.

Mr. Karzai told a news conference in Kabul Wednesday six members of parliament were among those killed in northern Baghlan province. At least 81 people were wounded, and Mr. Karzai warned the death toll could rise.

Among the dead were children who had lined up to greet a visiting delegation of Afghan lawmakers.

The suicide attack is the country's deadliest since the fall of the Taliban in 2001. No one has claimed responsibility, and a Taliban spokesman denied any involvement.

President Karzai said authorities are investigating the incident, which he called an act of terrorism against Islam and humanity.

The United States has denounced the attack as "a despicable act of cowardice."

The State Department said there is no political cause that can justify the murder of innocent people.

A statement issued by spokesman Sean McCormack said the enemies of peace and freedom want to gain through violence, threat and intimidation what they cannot win in free and fair elections.

U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon said he was deeply saddened by the attack.