Car bomb near Afghan stadium kills at least 13

Car bomb near Afghan stadium kills at least 13

President Ashraf Ghani in a statement condemned the attack and said, "The enemies of Afghanistan can not prevent the celebration of traditional, religious and cultural events in the country".

The police spokesman confirmed the blast was caused by a vehicle bomb.

Most of the victims were civilians, but some were security officials, said the Helmand governor, Hayatullah Hayat. He said at least 14 people had been killed and at least 47 wounded.

The attack occurred after Afghan new year celebrations were winding down.

"The bomber wanted to go inside the stadium but he was identified by the police and he detonated himself".

The Italian NGO Emergency said four dead and 35 wounded had been taken to its hospital in the city.

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Photos posted on Twitter purportedly of the explosion showed a huge fire and a thick plume of black smoke rising into the sky.

The blast happened just as Afghans elsewhere were celebrating a victory by the country's cricket playersin a match overseas against Ireland, allowing them to compete for the first time in the Cricket World Cup, which is set for next year. So far it has given only a muted response.

"The Afghan Special Operations Forces conducted an airstrike on Thursday, in Dih Bala district, Nangarhar province, against the IS terrorist group".

The latest attack comes as US Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman General Joseph Dunford visits Afghanistan to assess the military campaign against insurgents - weeks before the start of the spring fighting season, which is expected to be particularly bloody this year.

On January 27, a Taliban attacker drove an ambulance filled with explosives into the heart of the city, killing at least 103 people and wounding as many as 235.

Both the Taliban and the Islamic State group, whose affiliate in Afghanistan has grown stronger since it emerged in 2014, have stepped up attacks recently, in what analysts say is a campaign of violence meant to undermine the USA -backed government. The Taliban have responded to the offer with skepticism, calling on the join the process.

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