Bomb kills scores at packed Afghan market

KABUL, Afghanistan -- An Afghan official said Tuesday that a suicide car bomber killed at least 89 people in the country's east.

A bomber detonated his vehicle full of explosives near a mosque and a market, and all the casualties were reportedly civilians.

Afghan Ministry of Defense spokesman Gen. Zahir Azizmi told CBS News' Ahmad Mukhtar that the bodies of at least 89 victims had been recovered, and dozens more wounded people taken for treatment.

Azimi said an Afghan Army battalion, two helicopters and several ambulances had been dispatched to the scene, where workers were still searching for victims.

It was the worst suicide attack in the country in several years. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but the al Qaeda and Taliban-linked Haqqani network is knonw to be active in Paktika, which sits along the Pakistani border to the south of Kabul.

In a statement sent to media organizations, the Afghan Taliban said it was not behind the attack, and sent condolences to the victims' families.

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the U.S. soldier held for five years by Taliban militants until a prisoner swap saw him released earlier this year, disappeared from his unit's outpost in Paktika in 2009.

Mukhtar noted that Tuesday's attack came just a few days after the United Nations announced a 23 percent increase in civilian casualties in Afghanistan during the first six month of 2014, compare to the same period in 2013.

According to Mukhtar, the bomber hit a market in the center of Urgun district which was was likely packed with shoppers stocking up for the Eid holiday, which marks the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

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