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25 dead in hospital car bomb blast

At least 25 people were killed when a suicide bomber detonated a car bomb outside a small medical clinic in eastern Afghanistan, authorities have said.

The attack happened in the mountainous Azra district of Logar province, about 25 miles east of the capital, Kabul.

The Afghan Health Ministry initially said in a statement that some 60 people were killed and 120 injured but, at a news conference later, ministry official Abdullah Fahim told reporters those figures were wrong, and said new information put the toll at between 13 and 25 dead and 50 wounded.

Din Mohammad Darwesh, a spokesman for the provincial governor, said 25 people were killed and more than 40 wounded in the blast.

The bomber drove up to the clinic in a sports utility vehicle, and security guards tried to stop him entering the compound, said provincial health director Mohammad Zaref Nayebkhail. "The driver didn't stop and he entered the compound and reached the main building of the health centre, where the truck detonated," Mr Nayebkhail said.

The force of the blast caused the building housing the 10-bed clinic to collapse, trapping at least 15 people underneath the rubble. People were frantically scouring the debris in search of bodies and survivors, he said.

Mr Nayebkhail said the clinic had recently been expanded to meet the health needs of the far-flung district's population. An emergency response team of nurses, doctors and other provincial officials is due to fly by helicopter to the area to help search for survivors in the rubble of the remote clinic, he added.

The Taliban denied responsibility for the bombing. Spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid told the Associated Press in a phone interview: "This attack was not done by our fighters."

Late on Friday, another blast caused by a bicycle rigged with explosives ripped through a bazaar in the Khanabad district of Kunduz province in northern Afghanistan, killing at least 10 people, including a police officer. At least 24 other people were wounded in the attack, according to an Interior Ministry statement.

Meanwhile, Nato said an alliance service member was killed in an insurgent attack in eastern Afghanistan. Nato did not release any other details about the death. The death brings to 47 the number of Nato service members killed in June, with more than 200 killed this year.

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