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Afghan blast death toll reaches 75

  • Story Highlights
  • Death toll from Tuesday's sugar factory bomb blast in Afghanistan reaches 75
  • Dead included 59 schoolchildren; 93 schoolchildren also injured in blast
  • Attack was deadliest-ever suicide attack since fall of Taliban in 2001
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KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) -- The death toll from Tuesday's fatal bomb blast in this country's northeast has increased to 75, Afghan officials said Friday.

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Afghan women weep over the coffins of victims from Tuesday's bomb blast.

Zohur Afghan, a spokesman for Afghan Education Ministry, said that after a thorough investigation, officials determined that 59 schoolchildren and five teachers were killed and 93 children and three teachers were wounded.

In addition, the blast killed six legislators and five of their bodyguards. It was the deadliest-ever suicide attack since the fall of the Taliban regime in late 2001.

The victims were killed as they were visiting a sugar factory in northeastern Afghanistan's Baghlan province. The blast went off as schoolchildren lined the route where as many as 18 national lawmakers and dozens of local dignitaries walked on their way to visit a sugar plant as part of an economic assistance plan for the northeastern province.

The ministry spokesman said the age of the students ranged from 8 to 17 years old. Afghan officials also said that the education minister has issued a ban on students assembling for such events in all schools around the country.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai called the attack a "heinous act of terrorism."

Among the lawmakers listed as dead was Mustafa Kazemi, the former commerce minister and spokesman for the opposition, who is also a top warlord in the region. Other lawmakers killed included Abdul Mateen, Alhaj Sahibur Rahman, Hajji Muhammad Aref Zarif and Sebghatullah Zaki, the statement said. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

Journalist Farhad Piekar in Kabul contributed to this report.

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