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Graveyard bomb kills 14 women and children in Afghan east

Updated August 08, 2013

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Afghan President Hamid Karzai arrives for  Eid al-Fitr prayer that marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, August, 8, 2013. — Photo by AP
Afghan President Hamid Karzai arrives for Eid al-Fitr prayer that marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, August, 8, 2013. — Photo by AP

KABUL: A bomb planted in an Afghan graveyard killed 14 women and children on Thursday, many of them present at the graveside of a family member during the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday, officials said.

The bomb exploded in a rural district of eastern Nangarhar province, said the provincial governor's spokesman, Ahmad Zia Abdulzai.

Nangarhar and its capital, Jalalabad, have been racked by a series of bombings and suicide attacks over the last week.

It is common in Afghanistan on the first day of Eid for people to pay their respects at the graves of loved ones. The victims were mainly from one family, Abdulzai said.

Three women and one child were wounded, he added.

Three Afghan bodyguards for the Helmand province police chief, Mohammad Hakim Angaar, were killed on Wednesday in a suicide bombing, the provincial governor's spokesman, Omar Zwak, said.

In June, a suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden car into the former Helmand police chief's convoy, wounding three.

President Karzai calls on Taliban to stop war

In a speech for the start of a Muslim holiday, the Afghan president has urged the Taliban to lay down their arms, join the political process and stop killing innocent civilians.

Hamid Karzai spoke Thursday after prayers for the Eid al-Fitr holiday that marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. He thanked the Afghan security forces for their sacrifices in the war against the insurgency.

He says too many Afghans have lost their lives to roadside bombs during this year's Ramadan and that the violence should end.

He says the Taliban should, instead of opening an office in the Gulf state of Qatar, open one in Afghanistan, just like any other political party.