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Kabul bomb: Angry protesters march in Afghan capital

Kabul bomb: Angry protesters march in Afghan capital

Afghan policemen clash with demonstrators during a protest in Kabul, Afghanistan 2 June 2017 Kabul bomb: Angry protesters march in Afghan capital

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Police blocked protesters from the presidential palace in Kabul

Police in the Afghan capital Kabul have fired shots into the air to hold back hundreds of protesters demanding the government step down in the wake of a devastating bomb attack.

Crowds rallied near the site of Wednesday's blast, chanting anti-government and anti-Taliban slogans.

Police in riot gear also used tear gas and water cannon to block them from the presidential palace.

About 90 people died in the bomb blast, one of the deadliest in Kabul in years.

No group has said it carried out the attack.

Afghan intelligence officials have pointed the finger at the Haqqani network – a Taliban affiliate – and have alleged support from Pakistan. Pakistan has roundly rejected the claims, calling them "baseless".

The Taliban has denied any role and there has been no comment from so-called Islamic State militants, who are usually quick to claim attacks.

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The explosion damaged buildings and cars over a wide radius

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Protesters are angry about the lack of security

The blast – caused by explosives packed in a tanker – took place close to the heavily-guarded diplomatic area. Most of the victims were Afghan civilians, and hundreds of people were injured.

There have been a series of attacks in the capital and elsewhere in recent months. Many of the protesters accused the government of failing to address security issues.

"The international community has to put pressure on them and force them to resign," Niloofar Nilgoon, a protester, told Reuters news agency. "They're not capable of leading the country."

Another man told AFP news agency that leaders were "doing nothing to stop this carnage".

"We want justice, we want the perpetrators of the attack to be hanged to death," Rahila Jafari, a civil society activist, said.

Some of the protesters were throwing stones, one report said, and a car was flying a banner that read "Ghani! Abdullah! Resign! Resign!" – a reference to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah.

Kabul bomb: Angry protesters march in Afghan capital
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Media captionBuilders work to repair Kabul's bomb-struck Green Zone

More than a third of Afghanistan is now said to be outside government control.

The US has about 8,400 troops in Afghanistan, while another 5,000 from Nato allies are in the country.

The Pentagon has reportedly pressed US President Donald Trump to send thousands more troops to Afghanistan after a top commander warned of "stalemate" in the fight against the Taliban.

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