45 killed in Afghanistan suicide attack

Kabul: At least 45 people were killed and 60 wounded Sunday in a suicide bomb attack at a volleyball ground in Afghanistan's Paktika province, officials said.

"Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani condemned in strongest terms today's suicide blast in Yahya Khel district of Paktika province which left about 45 innocent civilians dead and injured more than 60 others," Xinhua quoted the Presidential Palace as saying in a statement.

The explosion took place during a volleyball match, according to the statement.

The president ordered the authorities to provide best medical treatment for the wounded in the province bordering Pakistan, it noted.

"The barbaric attack to civilians in Paktika is not acceptable. It is a massacre and terrorists are responsible for their dead," First Vice President General Abdul Rashid Dostum said in his condemnation message on Twitter.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack so far.

The attack came as the lower house of the Afghan parliament endorsed a security and defence agreement with the US and a similar pact with the NATO earlier in the day.

Since the US and NATO-led forces' combat mission ends by the end of 2014, the agreements allow both the US and NATO to keep limited number of troops - probably 12,000 - beyond 2014 in Afghanistan to advise and train Afghan national security forces.

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