Southeastern Afghanistan was shaken yesterday by a car bomb which struck a market in Paktika Province, obliterating more than twenty shops, killing at least 89 and wounding approximately 40 others. The attack, which took place in the Orgun district of Paktika, does not appear to have been targeted in the same way as recent car bombings in Kabul were, and are yet to have been claimed by any single organization, though it is suspected that the Taliban were behind the bombing, despite their own efforts to distance themselves from the attack. The attack was carried out in close proximity to the Pakistani province of Waziristan, a known Taliban stronghold, and the place where known Taliban leader Adnan Rasheed was recently detained.
The attack comes at a particularly sensitive time in Afghan history, as the country attempts to put its own presidential election back on the rails following a major fallout between Ashraf Ghani and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, the two principal Afghan presidential candidates. On the heels of a visit from American Secretary of State John Kerry, the two candidates agreed to a complete audit of the vote, though subsequent action has yet to be taken. Afghanistan’s incumbent President Hamid Karzai was quick to condemn the attack in Paktika, the worst of its kind since 2001, and has vowed vengeance against the perpetrators of the attack.
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- The Asian Development Bank has officially green lighted a plan that will see the bank dedicate $300 million to an Uzbek thermal power plant that had previously been in danger of being shut down due to lack of maintenance. The plant, which has become vital to Uzbekistan’s rapidly growing economy and human population, will be supplemented by two new “energy-efficient combined-cycle gas turbines,” each of which will be capable of producing up to 280 megawatts each. The grant will also provide for improved training and miscellaneous support for the power plant.
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