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Suicide Bomber Kills 80 in Afghanistan


A suicide-bomb attack in Afghanistan's southern city Kandahar has killed at least 80 people and wounded scores more, according to security officials. VOA's Barry Newhouse reports from Islamabad the attack, one of the deadliest in Afghanistan in recent years, also killed some militia fighters opposed to the Taliban.

Witnesses said the blast tore through a crowd of mostly men and boys who were watching a dog fighting festival in .

Interior Ministry Spokesman Zamary Bashary called the blast a "very bad" suicide attack.

"The police are investigating the case," Bashary. "Right now we are sure it was a suicide bomber. Some parts of the legs are remaining on the spot."

Speaking to VOA, he condemned what he called the "criminals" behind the attack and said it shows the perpetrators are opposed to the Afghan people.

Dog fighting competitions are popular in parts of Afghanistan, but were officially banned under the Taliban.

Witnesses at Sunday's blast reported a few police officers and militia leaders opposed to the Taliban were among those killed.

The Taliban, which has waged a tenacious insurgency in southern Afghanistan in the past two years, has not claimed responsibility for the attack. The group frequently takes credit for attacks on government and military targets, but rarely celebrates bombings that cause heavy civilian casualties.

2007 was the deadliest year in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban in 2001. In November, a bomb attack targeting a group of Afghan parliament members killed more than 40 people.