The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for a suicide attack in Afghanistan Saturday that killed 33 people and wounded more than 100 others, President Ashraf Ghani said, in what appears to be the first major attack by the jihadists in the country. Ghani's government has repeatedly raised the ominous prospect of IS making inroads into Afghanistan, though the group that has captured swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq has never formally acknowledged having a presence in the country. The Taliban have seen defections to the group in recent months, with some self-styled IS insurgents voicing their disaffection with their one-eyed supreme leader Mullah Omar, who has not been seen since the 2001 US-led invasion of Afghanistan. On Saturday a suicide bomber killed 33 people and wounded 115 others outside the state-run Kabul Bank in the eastern city of Jalalabad as government officials were drawing their salaries, in the deadliest attack since November. The scene of the bombing showed the scale of the carnage with victims lying in pools of blood and body parts scattered across the ground. "Who claimed responsibility for the horrific attack in Nangarhar today? The Taliban did not claim responsibility for the attack, Daesh (IS) claimed responsibility," Ghani said, without offering any further details. A person purporting to be an IS spokesman said in a call to AFP that the group was behind the bombing. An online posting allegedly from IS made the same claim, which could not be immediately verified. "Thirty-three dead bodies and more than 100 wounded were brought to the hospital," Dr Najeebullah Kamawal, head of the provincial hospital, told AFP. The UN gave a higher toll, saying 35 people had been killed and provincial government spokesman Ahmad Zia Abdulzai said 115 people were wounded, four of them critically. Separately, two explosives-rigged motorcycles were discovered in Jalalabad and destroyed with controlled detonations, the interior ministry said. Ghani strongly condemned the attack, in which children counted among fatalities, his office said in a statement. "Carrying out terrorist attacks in cities and public places are the most cowardly acts of terror by terrorists targeting innocent civilians," he said. Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also condemned the assault. Saturday's carnage came as Afghanistan braces for what is expected to be a bloody push by the Taliban -- still the most potent threat to the government -- at the start of the spring fighting season. However, the Taliban swiftly issued a strong condemnation of the attack and denied responsibility -- as it often does for assaults with large civilian casualties. "The announcement by the IS today is alarming, if verified, and would mean that Afghanistan should prepare for a bloody summer -- maybe the bloodiest in the past 14 years," Haroon Mir, a Kabul-based political analyst, told AFP. "We have been seeing Taliban commanders switching allegiance to IS and raising their black flag... but the IS presence has never been confidently confirmed and we still have to be cautious about claims made in the name of IS." - 'Indiscriminate tactic' - The militants have stepped up attacks on government and foreign targets since Washington announced a delay in troop withdrawals from Afghanistan. The number of civilians killed and wounded in Afghanistan jumped 22 percent in 2014, a recent UN report said. The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) attributed the rise in attacks to an intensification in ground fighting, resulting in a total of 10,548 civilian casualties last year. In a statement UNAMA condemned the Jalalabad attack and the "indiscriminate tactic it represents, which is exacting such an unacceptable toll on Afghan civilians". On Saturday, after months of stalemate, the new government announced appointees filling every remaining post in cabinet -- save the crucial one of defence minister. Fierce public criticism has linked the leadership vacuum -- which comes as NATO troops pull back from the frontlines after 13 years of conflict against the Taliban -- to the uptick in attacks. NATO's combat mission formally ended in December but a small follow-up foreign force has stayed on to train and support the local security forces. US President Barack Obama last month backpedalled on plans to shrink the US force in Afghanistan this year by nearly half, agreeing to keep the current level of 9,800 US troops until the end of 2015 in an overture to Ghani. The Taliban, who have waged a deadly insurgency since they were ousted from power in late 2001, warned that the announcement would damage any prospects of peace talks as they vowed to continue fighting.
Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting
Lawyer for Brian Laundrie's family addresses speculation about how easily his dad found his belongings, saying the public 'doesn't understand simplicity'
Brian Laundrie's parents could not have planted his remains or had special knowledge about where they were, the family lawyer said.
Peter Scolari, the prolific television and stage actor who found instant fame and a lifelong friendship with Tom Hanks when the two co-starred in the hit 1980 TV comedy Bosom Buddies, died early this morning following a two-year battle with cancer. He was 66. His death was announced by Ellen Lubin Sanitsky at Wright Entertainment. […]
- CBS News
The discovery came after a weeks-long manhunt following the death of Gabby Petito.
- Idaho Statesman
With six No. 1 country songs to tap, this concert should be a crowd pleaser.
- Washington Examiner
Actor Alec Baldwin was distraught and shocked after fatally shooting a crew member on the set of his latest movie, asking repeatedly why he was given a "hot gun," according to a new report.
- The Daily Beast
Vanderburgh County Sheriff's OfficeA 36-year-old Indiana woman is behind bars after police discovered two people tied up and shackled in her home—one of them “deceased and beyond help.”The woman, identified by Evansville authorities as Heidi Carter, faces a string of charges in connection with the Tuesday night incident, which police say took even them by surprise.It all began after a woman flagged down an Indiana state trooper late Tuesday night, saying she’d stopped by Carter’s home only to fi
- The Daily Beast
YouTube/ABCA family of three found dead on a Northern California hiking trail in August died of heat exposure and possible dehydration, the local sheriff’s office revealed Thursday.“Heat-related deaths are extremely difficult to investigate,” Mariposa County Sheriff Jeremy Briese said at a press conference, citing an official cause of death of “hyperthermia and probably dehydration.”The bodies of John Gerrish, Ellen Chung, and their 1-year-old daughter Muji were found mid-August on the Savage Lu
"Things started to go south for me was when I hit, I think it was 25."View Entire Post ›
- NBC Sports BayArea
Paul George learned Thursday night.
The actor fired a prop weapon that killed a crew member and injured the director on the set of his film "Rust."
- Business Insider
'I've lost my joy': Anti-vax Republican, who worked for the Trump campaign and embraced QAnon, says she has COVID-19
Lauren Witzke, the 2020 GOP candidate for US Senate in Delaware, told followers she had "lost all of my senses."
- Atlanta Black Star
A 4-foot-8 Black Woman Was Accosted By Group of Boys, Minutes Later a Louisiana Deputy Was Flinging Her By Her Hair In Shocking Video; Investigation Launched
An investigation has been launched in a New Orleans suburb after a video captured a Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy flinging a 4-foot-8 Black woman […]
At least 4 other bodies were found during the almost 2-month search for Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie
Authorities looking for the couple in Alabama, Wyoming, North Carolina, and Colorado have inadvertently discovered other remains.
- Women's Health
Emma Watson wore a crop top that revealed her bra and her toned abs to meet Al Gore. The actress works out with celeb trainer Emily Drew for 30-minute sessions.
Photo shows Alec Baldwin in tears outside sheriff's office after the prop-firearm shooting that left 'Rust' cinematographer dead
One person died after Baldwin fired a prop gun on the set of "Rust" in New Mexico, the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office said Thursday.
- Atlanta Black Star
‘Sunny Is Just As Smart’: Condoleezza Rice’s ‘Brazenly Condescending’ Back and Forth with ‘The View’ Co-Host Sunny Hostin Called Out by Viewers
Sunny Hostin and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have different views regarding the Capitol riots that took place on Jan. 6. Those disagreements came […]
- NBC Sports Boston
Newly signed Celtics guard Brodric Thomas is going to wear a number no NBA player has ever used before.
- USA TODAY
A video of a man who served in the U.S. Marine Corps shutting down a would-be armed robbery went viral this week.
Prince William & Kate Middleton's Rare PDA Photos Give Us An Intimate Look At The Future of the Monarchy
With every new glimpse we get, it seems like the future of the royal family is looking pretty bright, especially with Prince William and Kate Middleton at the helm. When it comes to their duties as senior members of the House of Windsor, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been stepping it up — […]
- E! News
Will Poulter is becoming buffer by the day as he gets ready to suit up for James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy.