Sun | Apr 23, 2017

Suicide bomber kills 35

Published:Sunday | April 19, 2015 | 4:00 AM
Afghan security forces inspect the site of a suicide attack near a bank branch in Jalalabad, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, yesterday.

FAIZABAD (AP):

A motorcycle-riding suicide bomber attacked a bank branch yesterday in eastern Afghanistan, killing at least 35 people in a deadly attack the country's president said was claimed by the Islamic State group.

The attack marks a major escalation in the country's fight against an affiliate of the extremist group that now holds a third of Iraq and Syria in its self-declared caliphate.

It also comes as Afghan security forces fight against the Taliban after United States and NATO forces ended their combat mission in the country at the start of the year, yet another challenge for the war-ravaged nation.

The attack in Jalalabad, capital of eastern Nangarhar province, targeted a crowd of soldiers and civilians gathered outside the bank to receive their monthly salaries. The blast killed at least 35 people and wounded 125.

Hours after the attack, President Ashraf Ghani blamed the Islamic State group for the bombing.

The Taliban denied it carried out the attack and another elsewhere in the province that killed one civilian and wounded two.