Double bombing outside girls' school in eastern Afghanistan

Afghan men carry an injured man to a hospital after a suicide attack in Nangarhar province

Afghan men carry an injured man to a hospital after a suicide attack in Nangarhar province Afghanistan

The attack came hours after a double bombing in front of a girls' school in the provincial capital Jalalabad, which killed a boy and wounded four others.

"Then the explosion happened and I found myself surrounded by blood and flesh", Khan said from his hospital bed.

Attaullah Khogyani, spokesman for the governor of Nangarhar, said 32 people were dead and 128 were wounded in the blast but Sohrab Qaderi, a member of the Nangarhar provincial council, said at least 56 bodies were taken to hospital, with 43 more wounded.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack.

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Zar Khan, one of the injured, told AFP he saw a young man get out of a vehicle and run towards the protesters shouting "Allahu akbar" (God is greatest).

The fighting has tempered optimism that had been tentatively growing as Afghan and worldwide players ratchet up efforts to convince the Taliban to negotiate an end to the 17-year conflict.

The Taliban have long insisted on direct talks with Washington and refused to negotiate with the Afghan government, which they see as illegitimate. One militant source, a senior Taliban commander based in neighbouring Pakistan, had told AFP he expected more talks to be held "soon".

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

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The attack was one of the worst in Afghanistan for months but security officials have warned that similar attacks are likely if crowds gather for campaign rallies ahead of parliamentary elections in October.

There are already concerns about widespread fraud. The Taliban and the Islamic State affiliate are enemies and have attacked each other's forces.

In western Herat province, Taliban insurgents attacked a police checkpoint, killing six police, said Abdul Ahad Walizada, spokesman for the provincial police chief.

Journalist Ali Latifi has the latest from the capital Kabul.

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In the northern province of Sar-e Pul, hundreds of armed men assembled to boost the city's defenses as security forces fought to push the Taliban back from the city center, said Zabihullah Amani, the provincial governor's spokesman.

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