Afghanistan blast kills 19 during Cheney visit

An explosion outside the main US military base in Afghanistan killed 19 people and wounded 11 on Tuesday during a visit by US Vice President Dick Cheney, though the vice president was apparently not in danger, US and Afghan officials said. 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."