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At Least 19 Killed In Afghan Market Bombing

Afghan officials say a suicide bomber has killed at least 19 people by detonating an explosives-laden vest in a busy market in the country's north.

Faryab Governor Abdul Sattar Barez said women, children, and at least one Afghan National Army soldier were among those killed in the attack in the Almar district on July 22.

He said nearly 40 other people were wounded.

Deputy provincial police chief Baryalia Basharyar said the attacker targeted "military forces that were present in the area but the majority of the victims were innocent civilians."

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing, which came just before a second round of peace negotiations between the Afghan government and Taliban militants.

The Taliban and Central Asian extremists who have declared allegiance to the Islamic State militant group have expanded attacks in parts of northern Afghanistan since U.S.-led international combat forces withdrew at the end of 2014.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP