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5 Emirati diplomats killed in Afghan blast

Sultan Faizy and Shashank Bengali, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

KABUL, Afghanistan -- The death toll in two bombings in Afghanistan rose to 46 on Wednesday as the United Arab Emirates said five of its diplomats were killed in an attack in the southern province of Kandahar a day earlier.

The federation of Persian Gulf sheikdoms said it would observe three days of mourning for its diplomats, who it said were in Afghanistan on a humanitarian mission.

"There is no human, moral or religious justification for the bombing and killing of people trying to help" others, UAE Prime Minister Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum tweeted.

The Kandahar bombing struck a guesthouse belonging to the provincial governor, killing nine people -- including an Afghan diplomat, two lawmakers and the province's deputy governor.

Also Wednesday, the Afghan Public Health Ministry raised the death toll from a double bombing in west Kabul to 37. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which struck a minibus traveling near the parliament building.

Nearly 100 people were wounded in the blasts, the second of which targeted people who had rushed to the site of the first blast to aid the wounded.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack in Kandahar.

(Special correspondent Faizy reported from Kabul and Times staff writer Bengali from Mumbai, India.)

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