80 Killed in Afghan Bombing

Worst Taliban suicide attack since 2001 hits spectators at dog fight
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 17, 2008 5:40 AM CST
Afghan policeman, right, stands near the damaged police vehicles near the site of a suicide attack on the western edge of Kandahar, south of Kabul, Afghanistan on Sunday, Feb. 17. 2008. A suicide bombing...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A suicide blast today killed at least 80 in a crowd of spectators watching a dog fight in the Afghan city of Kandahar. Nobody claimed responsibility for the attack, but local authorities believe it was the work of the Taliban, which has a large presence in the area, BBC reports. Militia leaders watching the dog fight were the likely target of the attack.

"Fighting had just started between two dogs. Suddenly, I heard a huge explosion next to a police vehicle," a witness said. The attack is Afghanistan's deadliest since 2001, and points to the growing regional and national strength of the Taliban. Dog-fighting, a popular spectator sport in Afghanistan, was banned under Taliban rule.