26 killed in explosion in Afghan city
JALALABAD, Afghanistan (CNN) -- A powerful blast rocked a building belonging to a construction company Friday, killing at least 26 people and wounding as many as 80, according to the military commander in the city.
Cmdr. Hazarat Ali reported to the Afghan Defense Ministry that the explosion had gone off in a car parked in the compound of the Afghan Construction and Logistics Unit.
The death toll is expected to rise with hospital facilties stretched trying to cope with the casualities.
So far there is know known cause for the explosion, and no group has claimed responsibilitiy for the blast.
There are two main lines of speculation however.
One suggests the blast was a deliberate terrorist attack involving a bomb placed in a car in the company's carpark.
The other main theory is the explosion was an accidental detonation of quarry blasting materials stored in the company's warehouse.
The company had been a non-government organization, but has since become a private company contracted by the government to build roads.
Authorities in Jalalabad have detained some of the company's employees for questioning.
Jalalabad is about a six-hour drive east from the Afghan capital of Kabul. Taliban and al Qaeda fighters are said to be active in the area.
In Washington, a senior administration official told CNN: "The White House is aware of the explosion in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, but does not know what caused the blast."
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