With parliamentary elections due on October 20, authorities had been bracing for more attacks in Kabul and other cities, but even so, the scale of the violence has come as a shock to a government facing bitter criticism over its handling of the war.
Attackers entered a building and were attempting to target the National Directorate of Security (NDS) training facility. In the past two years, there were at least 13 attacks on the Shiite community in Kabul alone, he said.
Afghan forces appeared to have finally pushed Taliban fighters from the strategic provincial capital, as the United Nations warned that reports suggested up to 150 civilians might have been killed in the fighting. The detonation of the bomb sparked gunfire from some nearby guard posts, but officials say they don't believe the guards were shooting at any attackers, and that there's no sign there was anyone else involved.
Kandahar was the religious heartland of the Taliban during their five-year rule that ended with the 2001 invasion by US and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces following the 9/11 attacks in the United States.More news: Authorities Say 15 Overdosed In 45 Minutes At Connecticut Park
The Ghazni attack, one of the Taliban's most devastating in years, has clouded hopes for peace talks that had been prompted by an unprecedented ceasefire during the Eid celebration in June and a meeting last month between Taliban officials and a senior US diplomat.
Afghan forces appear to have finally pushed Taliban fighters from the strategic provincial capital.
The city's hospitals were overwhelmed in the immediate aftermath of the bombing as officials collected data on the casualties, leading to the confusion and the wrong toll.
Hundreds of people have fled the fighting in Ghazni, which has also killed about 100 members of the Afghan security forces.
Also Wednesday, six children were killed when they tinkered with an unexploded rocket shell, causing it to blow up, said Sarhadi Zwak, spokesman for the governor of the eastern Laghman province.More news: Elton John Recalls Aretha Franklin's Final Performance in Heartfelt Tribute
Elsewhere in Afghanistan, the Taliban attacked a police checkpoint in the southern Zabul province early Wednesday, killing four policemen, according to the provincial police chief, Mustafa Mayar.
Police forces were also targeted in Kandahar this week, in Arghandab district.
Afghanistan is littered with unexploded ordnance left by decades of war.
Afghanistan is reeling from a recent uptick in insurgent violence against both government forces and civilians.
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