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The Latest: Afghan president condemns attack on army base

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Latest on the situation in Afghanistan (all times local):

5:30 p.m.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has condemned Friday’s attack in a mosque inside an army base in eastern Afghanistan that killed 27 soldiers calling it “anti-Islamic and inhumane.”

In a statement, Ghani called for a swift investigation into the bombing that occurred as the weekly prayers were drawing to a close. Ghani said he wanted to know how security at the army base was breached and called for those responsible to be punished.

Another 57 soldiers were wounded in the attack that occurred in the Ismail Khiel district of Afghanistan’s eastern Khost province.

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4:45 p.m.

An Afghan military spokesman says the death toll from a bombing at a mosque inside an Afghan military base in the volatile eastern Khost province has risen to 27 soldiers.

The spokesman, Abdullah, who like many Afghans uses only one name, says the explosion on Friday also wounded 57 troops.

The base is located in eastern Khost province, a stronghold of the Haqqani-linked Taliban group.

Abdullah said it still wasn’t clear whether the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber or whether a remotely detonated devise was used.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

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3:35 p.m.

An Afghan official says an explosion inside a mosque at an Afghan military base in the volatile eastern Khost province killed nine people and wounded 22.

Abed Ahmad Zia, a provincial government official, says there were fears the death toll from Friday’s attack could rise further.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber, but Khost province is a stronghold of the Taliban-linked Haqqani network.

The Taliban, however, have in the past decried attacks on religious gatherings but have almost daily targeted Afghan military and security forces.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

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2:30 p.m.

An Afghan official says hundreds of protesters have blocked roads in northern Parwan province to denounce the death of three people who they say were civilians, killed in an operation against the Taliban.

The protesters say the operation by Afghan special forces involved a NATO airstrike in the Jebul Siraj district Friday that killed the three.

However, NATO spokeswoman U.S. Sgt. 1st Class Debra Richardson says no NATO or American activity took place in Parwan in the past three days.

The provincial governor’s spokewoman, Wahida Sakhar, says Parwan officials are negotiating with the protesters and promised an investigation into the incident.

Afghan special forces called in a NATO airstrike during an operation Wednesday against the Taliban in eastern Logar province. Ten people died but it’s unclear how many were civilians.

Copyright © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.



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