Isis has claimed responsibility for a suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan that killed at least 35 people queuing to collect their wages and injured 100 more today.
The blast rocked the eastern city of Jalalabad on Saturday, reportedly killing children in the busy city street.
It appeared to target government staff and military personnel who were waiting outside a bank to collect their monthly salaries.
The attacker rode an explosive-laden motorcycle into the crowd before detonating it to kill everyone standing nearby in the crowded commercial district.
Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, a spokesperson for the provincial governor in Nangarhar province, said the death toll could rise as many wounded people were in a critical condition in hospital.
Ashraf Ghani, the President of Afghanistan, was travelling to meet the families of soldiers killed in a separate terror attack when he learned of the explosion.
"The Taliban didn't claim responsibility. Daesh claimed responsibility for it," he said, using an Arabic acronym for the group.
He condemned the murder of civilians as a “cowardly and heinous” crime, accusing terrorists of using “Afghan blood and soil for their proxy war”.
“This nation does not bow to threats and dangers,” President Ghani said. “We will fight them to the end.”
Isis’s claim of responsibility could not be confirmed but Shahidullah Shahid, who claims to be a spokesman for the group in Afghanistan, said it orchestrated the attack and named the alleged bomber, the BBC reported.
It would be the group's first major attack in the country.
A Taliban spokesperson had earlier denied the group was responsible for the bank attack, the worst in Jalalabad for several months.
The so-called Islamic State is believed to have arrived in the country at the end of last year as British and US soldiers withdrew.
The Helmand handover in numbers
The Helmand handover in numbers
The number of British soldiers who have died in Afghanistan since 2001 (of around 3,000 total coalition deaths). The vast majority of deaths have been low-rank soldiers killed on foot while out patrolling. 226 of those were caused by explosives and 116 were shot. Accidents such as vehicle crashes have accounted for 34 of the total deaths, with 21 caused by other causes including friendly fire and suicide.
2/6 23,000 sq mi
The size of the Helmand province – roughly half the area of England. The region is a mixture of mountains, farmland and desert, with three main groups (tribal warlords, Taliban leaders and drug traffickers) controlling the area prior to the arrival of Western troops.
Percentage of the world’s non-pharmaceutical-grade opium produced in Afghanistan. Helmand has long been the centre of this production and the UK army was sent to the province with the aim of stopping this illegal trade. Between 2002 and 2013 the amount of land given over to opium production rose from just under 75,000 hectares to 209,000 hectares – more than enough to exceed global demand.
The approximate number of personnel first sent to the region. The majority of these were engineers and support troops meant to help with the reconstruction of the region, with only roughly a quarter of the initial deployment actual combat infantry.
The peak number of British troops in the region in 2011. Five thousand troops will remain in the war zone until December at Camp Bastion under US command, with 57,000 more Isaf troops (the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force created in 2001) remaining in the country. The majority of these are American and plans for their departure are still unconfirmed.
The number of vehicles and major pieces of equipment in the province waiting to be redeployed. All of these must be cleaned and fitted for transport with A 25-tonne Warrior armoured vehicle taking roughly three days for a team of three working 8 hours a day to get ready for transport. So far, 1578 vehicles and items have been redeployed from the front line for future operations. Remaining kit will be auctioned off.
Its militants have reportedly started competing with the Taliban, who the coalition forces fought for more than a decade, for control of land and poppy fields.
Another bomb was found by police in Jalalabad before it could be detonated and was safely exploded by the army later on Saturday.
A second blast was reported near a shrine in the morning but no one was hurt.
Meanwhile another bombing in the Behsud district of Nangarhar killed one person and wounded two others, Mr Abdulzai said, adding that a bomb was apparently attached to a parked car and then remotely detonated.
The Pakistani government, which is co-ordinating counter-terrorism operations with Afghanistan, condemned the attacks.
A statement released by the Pakistani Foreign Ministry called the bombings “cowardly and indiscriminate” and said killing civilians could not be justified under any circumstances.
Additional reporting by APReuse content