BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Urdu Hindi Pashto Bengali Tamil Nepali Sinhala
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: South Asia  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Friday, 9 August, 2002, 16:59 GMT 17:59 UK
Blast rocks Afghan site
Kabul municipal worker repairs a road
The agency hit in the blast was rebuilding roads
At least 25 people have been killed by a powerful explosion near the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad, the authorities say.

The blast ripped through the warehouse of a construction agency at about 1230 (0900 GMT), damaging buildings and vehicles as far as 500 metres away.

Up to 80 people were wounded, the government and state television reported. Casualty figures have been rising throughout the day.

It remains unclear what caused the blast, but some reports say it could have been a car bomb aimed at blowing up a nearby dam.

Others suggest it was an accident involving explosives used in road building.

The wounded have been taken to hospitals in Jalalabad, about 120 kilometres (70 miles) east of the capital.

Such was the magnitude of the blast, fires were still burning two hours after it occurred.

"It was a tremendous explosion," a local militia commander, Hazrat Ali, told the Associated Press.

"The number of dead will probably rise."

Rescue efforts

The deputy provincial governor said about 40 people had been killed, but this figure has not been confirmed.

Mohammed Qazizada said he did not think the blast had been caused by a car bomb, but by explosives stored in a warehouse used by the construction agency.

It is not clear how many staff would have been based at the warehouse, which belonged to a private organisation called the Afghan Construction and Logistics Unit (ACLU).

The blast site, eight kilometres (five miles) west of Jalalabad, is just 200 metres away from a hydroelectric plant at the Darunta dam.

The dam's electrical works were damaged in the explosion, affecting power supplies to the surrounding district, police chief Haji Ajib Shah told the Associated Press.

Afghans have been on high alert in recent weeks for possible attacks by Taleban or al-Qaeda forces following the assassination of the vice president and an alleged plot to blow up government ministers in Kabul.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Peter Biles reports from Kabul
"All those killed or hurt were Afghan nationals"

Rebuilding

Political uncertainty

Profiles

Issues

FACT FILE

IN DEPTH

FORUM

TALKING POINT
See also:

08 Aug 02 | South Asia
23 Jul 02 | South Asia
09 Jul 02 | South Asia
07 Jul 02 | South Asia
Links to more South Asia stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more South Asia stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes