WORLD

Blast at president rally in central Afghanistan kills at least 24

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At least 24 people have been killed and 31 wounded after a suicide blast outside a campaign rally being held by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in central Parwan province on Tuesday, a hospital official said.

A blast killed 24 people and injured 31 others near an election rally held by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in central Parwan province on Tuesday, a health official said.

"Women and children are among them and most of the victims seems to be the civilians. Ambulances are still operating, and the number of casualties may rise," said Abdul Qasim Sangin, head of the provincial hospital.

The president's campaign spokesman Hamed Aziz says that Ghani was there but that he is safe and unharmed. Aziz said he would provide more details later.

Wahida Shahkar, spokeswoman for the provincial governor in Parwan, says the explosion happened while the rally was underway on Tuesday, at the entrance to the venue.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

Across Afghanistan, militant attacks have continued as the country prepares for presidential elections later this month.

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