Afghanistan Says Sunday as the National Day of Mourning

Afghanistan held a national day of mourning Sunday, a day after rebels used an explosive-filled ambulance to conduct a powerful blast outside a government building in Kabul.

Officials said Sunday the number of fatalities has risen to 103 people, while 235 others were injured in attacks in the capital. The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack.

Home Minister Wais Ahmad Barmak, while issuing the latest casualty figures at a press conference in Kabul, said many police were among the dead. But he gave no figures and said 30 policemen were also among the wounded.

Massom Stanekzai, head of Afghanistan's intelligence agency, told reporters authorities had arrested five people in connection with Saturday's bombing and an ongoing investigation. 19659002] He denies criticism of his National Security Directorate or NDS and other security agencies for their failure to prevent militant attacks repeatedly in Kabul and elsewhere in the country

"We have prevented many such incidents but some such incidents may pass , "Stanekzai said. He blamed again the neighboring country of Pakistan where he accused the big cities of being rebel bases. [gp]