Double bombing outside girls' school in eastern Afghanistan

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The death toll from a massive suicide attack on Afghan protesters in the Nangarhar province mounted to 68, officials confirmed on Wednesday.

The incident occurred on the highway that connects Jalalabad with the Torkham border pass between Afghanistan and Pakistan, where a protest against a local police commander from the neighbouring Achin province was being held.

They were protesting against a police commander.

Provincial governor's spokesman said at least 19 people were killed and 57 others were wounded in the explosion.

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The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan also condemned the series of bombings, and expressed its "mounting concern at the pattern of attacks targeting civilians and schools" in Nangarhar and its capital.

The Taliban denied any involvement.

Khogyani said the suicide bomber detonated his vest as he approached a tent where protesters had gathered.

The fighting has tempered optimism that had been tentatively growing as Afghan and worldwide players ratchet up efforts to convince the Taliban to negotiate an end to the 17-year conflict.

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Nangarhar, one of the main strongholds of Daesh terror group since early 2015, has been one of the most volatile regions this year, with a string of suicide bombings and attacks on its capital, Jalalabad.

"We went with other boys to see what had happened after we heard an explosion near the girls' school", 12-year-old Elyas told the agency from his hospital bed.

The twin blasts took place an hour after a bomb exploded outside Biba Hawa girls' school in nearby Behsood district, Jalalabad education department spokesman Asif Shinwari said.

"Then I saw flesh, blood and people wounded all around me", Majid told AFP outside one of the hospitals.

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Afghan government forces have struggled to counter attacks from both the Taliban and the IS group since the withdrawal of most North Atlantic Treaty Organisation combat troops in 2014.

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