35 killed: Kabul blast is deadliest insurgent attack since fall of Taliban - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

35 killed: Kabul blast is deadliest insurgent attack since fall of Taliban

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KABUL, Afghanistan - An enormous bomb ripped through a police academy bus at Kabul's busiest transportation hub Sunday, killing at least 35 people in the deadliest insurgent attack in Afghanistan since the U.S.-led invasion in 2001. The Taliban claimed responsibility.

The thunderous explosion in Kabul, which sheared the metal sidings and roof off the bus, leaving only a charred skeleton, represented a leap in scale from previous Taliban or al-Qaida bombings here, raising the specter of an increase in Iraq-style attacks in Afghanistan.

In the country's south, a roadside explosion killed three soldiers from the U.S.-led coalition and their Afghan interpreter. The brief statement about the blast, in Kandahar province, did not disclose the soldiers' nationalities. The three deaths bring to 84 the number of U.S. or NATO soldiers killed in Afghanistan this year, including at least 40 Americans.

In the Kabul explosion, at least 35 people were killed, including 22 policemen, said Ahmed Zia Aftali, head of the city's military hospital. A victim said the bus had been filled with police instructors.

A purported Taliban spokesman, Qari Yousef Ahmadi, said a Taliban suicide bomber named Mullah Asim Abdul Rahman caused the blast. Rahman, 23, was from Kabul province, said Ahmadi, who called an Associated Press reporter by satellite phone from an undisclosed location. His claim could not be verified.

If true, it would be the fifth suicide attack in Afghanistan in three days.

Later, in the country's south, a roadside explosion killed three soldiers from the U.S.-led coalition and their Afghan interpreter. The brief statement about the southern blast did not disclose the soldiers' nationalities. The U.S.-led coalition is comprised of special forces soldiers from several nations; most are American.

Unidentifiable body parts littered the Kabul blast site 30 yards away. Hundreds of police and investigators - with some pulling bodies from the wreckage - ordered civilians to leave the area, an outdoor bus station normally teeming with people.

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