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Taliban Denies Involvement In Paktika Bombing That Killed 89

Afghan security personnel keep watch at the scene of the July 15 suicide attack in Orgun district, Paktika province, July 16, 2014

The Taliban has denied responsibility for a July 15 explosion at a crowded market in eastern Afghanistan's Paktika Province that killed 89 people.

It was one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in Afghanistan since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement that Taliban fighters "do not conduct such attacks and such attacks do not bring any benefit to them."

Afghan government officials blamed the Taliban for the explosion, criticizing the militia for attacking civilians buying food for the Ramadan holy period.

Analysts say the area where the explosion happened had no strategic value, with no military bases or vital installations nearby, leading some to conclude the explosives in the vehicle may have detonated prematurely.

The explosion leveled the area around the blast, destroying entire buildings.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and "The New York Times"