Bombing at mosque in Afghanistan kills 12, wounds 33

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An explosion at a mosque used as a voter centre in the eastern Afghan province of Khost on Sunday killed at least 17 people and wounded 34, local officials said, in the latest attack on preparations for long-delayed parliamentary elections.

Afghan policemen inspect a mosque following a blast in Khost province.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Nemati said the Taliban had done the kidnapping and moved the group to the Dand-e-Shahabuddin area of Pul-e-Khumri city.

But the Taliban, and the local cell of the Islamic state oppose democratic elections in the country.

Police also confirmed the attack in the provincial capital.

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They were abducted while traveling to the area, where the company owns an electricity sub-station contract.

The victims were employees of an Indian company that runs the substation. No one has yet claimed responsibility for the abduction, but Baghlan Governor Abdul Hai Niamati blamed "groups opposed to the Afghan government" and said efforts are on trace the engineers and negotiate their release.

Sunday's blast came as fighting has spread across Afghanistan, with government officials saying that a district in the northern province of Badakhshan which was seized by Taliban fighters last week had been retaken. The victims were shopkeepers on their way to market.

In the eastern Paktia province, a vehicle bomb killed two people and wounded another three.

The police chief has a fearsome reputation fighting the Taliban and has survived many assassination attempts. One assailant blew himself up at the entrance of the building while the other two were gunned down by Afghan security forces.

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