A suicide bomb blast killed and injured more than 100 people, including six parliamentarians in northern Afghan province of Baglan on Tuesday afternoon, local officials said.
"A group of parliamentarians were visiting a sugar factory in Baghlan province when a suicide attacker detonated a bomb," Abdulrahman Sayed Khali, provincial police chief, told Xinhua.
Baghlan lies about 150 kilometers north of Kabul, the capital city of Afghanistan.
According to parliamentary sources, 13 of the 18 deputies who were part of the delegation had been killed or injured.
"Six parliamentarians were killed, including Mustafa Kazimi, a well-known member of parliament and a former commerce minister," Khali said.
Many school children were among the dead because they were welcoming parliamentarians at gate of factory, he added.
Sayed Mohammad Amin Fadimi, Minister for Public Health, told Xinhua that about 50 people were killed and 100 to 150 others were injured in the blast, and the number of casualties were still expected to rise further.
A helicopter was sent from Kabul to evacuate some of the wounded, according to local officials.
Hamid Karzai, president of Afghanistan, condemned the attack as "terroristic."
He also expressed his deepest sympathies and condolences to the families of the victims and prayed for the full and speedy recovery of the injured.
There were no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast. However, Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, a purported Taliban spokesman, said, "It's a really bad incident, but Taliban has nothing to do with that."
Conflicts and Taliban-related violence have claimed the lives of more than 5,500 people mostly insurgents so far this year in the war-torn Afghanistan, according to officials.
(Xinhua News Agency November 7, 2007)