5 UAE officials, 6 Afghans killed in Kandahar Afghanistan bombing by Paki-Punjabi ISI, Iran MOIS

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The United Arab Emirates says five of its diplomats died in a bombing in Afghanistan's Kandahar that killed at least 11 people and wounded 17 others, including Juma al-Kaabi, the UAE ambassador to Afghanistan.

The official Emirati news agency, WAM, said the officials were "on a mission to carry out humanitarian, educational and development projects".

The blast, which struck the provincial governor's office during a visit by the UAE delegation, was one of a string of bombings that hit three Afghan cities on Tuesday, killing nearly 50 people and wounding 100.

Dubai's ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAE's prime minister and vice president, said on Twitter that "there is no human, moral or religious justification for the bombing and killing of people trying to help" others.

On the Afghan side, authorities said the dead included two politicians, a deputy governor from Kandahar and an Afghan diplomat stationed at its embassy in Washington.

The diplomats were expected to open a number of UAE-backed projects as part of an aid programme to Afghanistan.

In honour of the dead, government institutions across the UAE were directed to fly the flag at half-mast for three days.

The Taliban denied carrying out the bombing, saying the attack was a result of "internal local rivalry".
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