Say a prayer for all those families that have lost loved ones as a result of a terrorist attack in Afganistan.
A suicide bomber killed 19 people and wounded 11 outside the main U.S. military base in Afghanistan on Tuesday during a visit by Vice President Dick Cheney, officials said. The Taliban claimed responsibility and said Cheney was the target.
The blast happened near the first security gate outside the base at Bagram, killing 19 people, said Khoja Mohammad Qasim Sayedi, chief of the province's public health department. Gov. Abdul Jabar Taqwa said "18 to 20 dead bodies" lay on the ground after the blast.
Maj. William Mitchell said it did not appear the explosion was intended as a threat to the vice president.
"He wasn't near the site of the explosion," Mitchell said. "He was safely within the base at the time of the explosion."
However, a purported Taliban spokesman, Qari Yousef Ahmadi, said Cheney was the target of the attack.
"We knew that Dick Cheney would be staying inside the base," Ahmadi told The Associated Press by telephone. "The attacker was trying to reach Cheney."