Nangarhar’s provincial directorate of public health said on Wednesday the death toll in Tuesday’s suicide bombing had risen to 68.
The attack happened on Tuesday afternoon when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives among a group of protesters calling for the removal of a local police commander Bilal Pacha.
The protest was held on Jalalabad-Torkham Highway in Mohmand Dara district.
The public health directorate said 128 others were wounded in the attack. The casualty toll increased overnight as a number of critically wounded protesters died from their injuries.
The protestors had been calling for the dismissal of Pacha in Achin district, which is in the neighboring Mohmad Dara district.
The attack was condemned by the Presidential Palace shortly after it happened. President Ashraf Ghani said in a statement that the ongoing “imposed war” is illegitimate and that attacks on civilian facilities, mosques, children, women and members of the public is a crime against humanity.
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) condemned the attack in a statement and said it was voicing its mounting concern at the pattern of attacks targeting civilians and schools.
"The majority of civilian casualties occurred in the Mohmandara district of Nangarhar when a suicide attacker detonated his explosives among a crowd which had gathered to demonstrate against an Afghan Local Police commander. At least 20 civilians were killed and more than 60 injured," UNAMA said.
The statement said that UNAMA reminds all parties to the conflict to uphold their obligations to protect civilians and calls upon them to immediately cease targeting civilians and civilian objects such as schools, in compliance with international humanitarian law.
This comes almost a month after Jalalabad City, the provincial capital of Nangarhar, faced a string of deadly attacks that left dozens of civilians dead. On August 1, President Ashraf Ghani held an emergency meeting with security heads, directing them that the Afghan National Army should take the lead in ensuring the safety of Jalalabad.