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We present early photometric and spectroscopic data on the afterglow of GRB 060218 and report the evolution of the underlying supernova 2006aj. Our data span a time-range of 4 days to 22 days after the GRB and clearly establish that SN 2006aj is a fast-evolving broad-lined Type Ic SN with an extremely short rise-time (~ 10 days) and a large optical luminosity (M_V = -18.7 mag). The SN properties are deduced well since the GRB afterglow does not contribute a significant amount to the total lightdoi:10.1086/505906 fatcat:wxp3x4qglndbzix5cigalqrfmi