Accessibility links

Breaking News

Afghan Officials Lower Death Toll From July 15 Market Blast

Afghan officials have dramatically lowered the death toll from a July 15 car bombing at a crowded market in eastern Paktika Province.

Officials now say 42 people were killed, not 89 as was reported in the aftermath of the tragedy.

The Defense Ministry said in a statement on July 16, "Based on the latest information, 42 were martyred and 67 wounded in [the July 15] attack in Urgun."

The ministry said wrong figures were released to the media "because of the rush."

Afghan government officials blamed the Taliban for the attack, but Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement that Taliban fighters "do not conduct such attacks and such attacks do not bring any benefit to them."

Analysts say the area where the explosion happened had no strategic value, leading some to conclude the vehicle may have detonated prematurely.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and dpa