At least 40 people have died and 120 have been injured in an apparent suicide attack on a sugar factory in the northern province of Baghlan. As the dust settled, locals did all they could -frantic to save lives on streets already littered with bodies and awash with blood. At least six members of the Afghan Parliament died; among them Mustafa Kazimi, a leading opposition figure and former minister in Hamid Karzai’s government.
The attack affirms the UN view that insurgent violence is spreading into central and northern Afghanistan from the lawless south and east. Many of the dead and injured were schoolchildren, who had gathered at the factory to welcome the visiting delegation of politicians. A Taleban spokesman has condemned the attack and denied involvement. As yet no one else has come forward to claim responsibility.