In earlier reporting the parliamentary members were mentioned, but this is the most heinous evil of the suicide bombing in Afghanistan earlier this week. From AP:
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Dozens of schoolchildren and five teachers were among those killed in a suicide attack in northern Afghanistan earlier this week — the country’s deadliest since the fall of the Taliban — the government said Friday.
The 59 schoolchildren had lined up to greet a group of lawmakers visiting a sugar factory in the northern province of Baghlan on Tuesday when a suicide bomber detonated explosives.
“The education minister has ordered that no children should be ever again be used in these sort of events,” said Zahoor Afghan, an Education Ministry spokesman. He said the children ranged in age from 8 to 18.
In all, the explosion claimed the lives at least 75 people, including several parliamentarians, and wounded 96. It was the deadliest attack in the country since the toppling of Taliban regime from power in the 2001 U.S.-led invasion.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai declared three days of mourning Wednesday and ordered an investigation. No group has claimed responsibility, and the Taliban denied any involvement.
Also Friday, NATO and Afghan troops battled Taliban fighters near Gulistan district in western Farah province. The soldiers seized the district center, killing up to 20 suspected militants who overran it last week, said Gen. Abdul Rahman Sarjang, the provincial police chief.