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At Least 32 Killed In Afghan Helicopter Crash, Prison Attack


Residents gather near the site of a suicide attack on prison employees' vehicle in Kabul on October 31.

An Afghan National Army helicopter carrying senior officials has crashed in bad weather in the western province of Farah, killing all 25 on board, a local official says.

Naser Mehri, a spokesman for the provincial governor, said the helicopter crashed shortly after taking off from the mountainous Anar Dara district in the morning of October 31 heading toward the nearby province of Herat.

He said the copter crashed in bad weather. A Taliban spokesman said the militants shot it down.

Mehri said the passengers included the deputy corps commander of Afghanistan's western zone and the head of the Farah provincial council.

Taliban spokesman Qari Yusuf Ahmadi claimed the militants had downed the helicopter but failed to provide evidence. Defense Ministry spokesman Ghafor Ahmad Jawed rejected the Taliban claim of responsibility as "totally wrong."

Afghan security officials inspect the scene of the suicide bomb attack in Kabul on October 31.

Meanwhile, a suicide bomber struck outside Afghanistan's largest prison on the eastern edge of Kabul, killing at least seven people, including prison workers and security personnel, officials said.

Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish said that the attacker targeted a bus carrying prison workers early on October 31. The sprawling Pul-e Charkhi prison houses hundreds of inmates, including scores of Taliban militants.

According to Abadullah Karimi, a prison official, the attack occurred near the prison gate where a number of visitors were waiting to pass a rigorous security check before entering.

Another five were wounded in the blast, the officials said.

There has been no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

With reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP

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