January 15, 2021

Suicide

GARDEZ, Afghanistan — A suicide car bomber killed at least three intelligence officers in an attack on a security convoy on patrol in eastern Afghanistan on Thursday evening, officials said.

No militant group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack in Paktia province, which also left 19 civilians wounded and several nearby stores partially destroyed, according to Mohammad Halim Fidayee, the provincial governor.

The convoy was targeted while on patrol along the main highway linking the provincial capital of Gardes with neighboring Khost province.

The attack comes as Afghan government representatives and the Taliban have made progress in peace talks underway in Qatar, following a three-month impasse, and this week agreed on rules and procedures for the negotiations.

They are now discussing what issues should be on the agenda of the negotiations. The talks are a U.S.-brokered effort to get the warring sides to negotiate an end to the country’s decades of war and violence.

There has been a sharp rise in violence this year, with a surge of attacks by the Taliban targeting Afghanistan’s beleaguered security forces since the start of peace talks in Qatar in September, as well as attacks claimed by the Islamic State group.

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A suicide car bomber struck an army base in Afghanistan on Sunday killing at least 30 security personnel, officials said, in one of the bloodiest attacks in recent months.

The attack occurred on the outskirts of Ghazni city, capital of the eastern province of Ghazni, which has seen regular fighting between the Taliban and government forces.

It came as the government and Taliban are engaged in peace talks to end the war in the impoverished country that has killed tens of thousands of people in nearly two decades.

Security personnel near the army base hit by a suicide bomber on the outskirts of Ghazni Security personnel near the army base hit by a suicide bomber on the outskirts of Ghazni Photo: AFP / STR

“Thirty bodies and 24 wounded people have been brought to hospital. All of them are security personnel,” Baz Mohammad Hemat, director of Ghazni hospital, told AFP.

Interior ministry spokesman Tariq Arian said a suicide bomber had detonated a vehicle full of explosives.

“The bomber drove a Humvee vehicle right inside the base and detonated it,” Ghazni governor spokesman Wahidullah Jumazada told AFP.

Map locating Ghazni in Afghanistan Map locating Ghazni in Afghanistan Photo: AFP / STAFF

No group has so far claimed the attack.

The Ghazni attack comes just days after two bombs killed 14 people in the historic city of Bamiyan, ending years of calm in the isolated town famous for its ancient Buddhist heritage.

In another suicide car bomb attack on Sunday, one civilian was killed and 20 others wounded in the southern city of Qalat in the province of Zabul, provincial police chief Hekmatullah Kochi told AFP.

An Afghan soldier with a rocket-propelled grenade launcher near the site of the suicide car bomb attack in Ghazni An Afghan soldier with a rocket-propelled grenade launcher near the site of the suicide car bomb attack in Ghazni Photo: AFP / STR

He said the attack targeted the vehicle of Zabul provincial council chief, Atta Jan Haqbayan, who was wounded.

Sunday’s bombings marked the latest carnage in Afghanistan, where violence has surged since the start of peace talks on September 12 in the Qatari capital of Doha.

Brutal attacks have killed more than 50 people in Kabul in recent weeks, including two assaults on educational centres and a rocket attack.

The three Kabul attacks were claimed by the Islamic State group, but Afghan officials blamed the Taliban — who denied any involvement.

The Taliban have launched daily attacks targeting Afghan forces despite engaging in the peace talks.

The talks had been bogged down by disputes on the agenda, the basic framework of discussions and religious interpretations, but agreement has now been reached on all issues, according to sources close to the talks.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called for “expedited discussions” during a visit to Doha last week during which he met with both Taliban and Afghan government negotiators.

The Pentagon said earlier this month that it would soon pull out some 2,000 troops from Afghanistan, speeding up the timeline of a full withdrawal by May 2021 as agreed with the Taliban in a separate deal signed in February.

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A suicide car bomber struck an army base in Afghanistan on Sunday killing at least 26 security personnel, officials said, in one of the bloodiest attacks in recent months.

The attack occurred on the outskirts of Ghazni city, capital of the eastern province of Ghazni, which has seen regular fighting between the Taliban and government forces.

It came as the government and Taliban are engaged in peace talks to end the war in the impoverished country that has killed tens of thousands of people in nearly two decades.

“We have received 26 bodies and 17 wounded so far. All of them are security personnel,” Baz Mohammad Hemat, director of Ghazni hospital, told AFP.

Nasir Ahmad Faqiri, a member of Ghazni provincial council, confirmed the death toll.

Interior ministry spokesman Tariq Arian a suicide bomber had detonated a vehicle full of explosives.

No group has so far claimed the attack.

Map locating Ghazni in Afghanistan Map locating Ghazni in Afghanistan Photo: AFP / STAFF

The Ghazni attack comes just days after two bombs killed 14 people in the historic city of Bamiyan, ending years of calm in the isolated town famous for its ancient Buddhist heritage.

Sunday’s bombing marked the latest big attack in Afghanistan, where violence has surged since the start of peace talks on September 12 in the Qatari capital of Doha.

Brutal attacks have killed more than 50 people in Kabul in recent weeks, including two assaults on educational centres and a rocket attack.

The Kabul attacks were claimed by the Islamic State group, but Afghan officials blamed the Taliban — who denied any involvement.

The Taliban have launch daily attacks targeting Afghan forces despite engaging in the peace talks.

The talks had been bogged down by disputes on the agenda, the basic framework of discussions and religious interpretations, but agreement has now been reached on all issues, according to sources close to the talks.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called for “expedited discussions” during a visit to Doha last week during which he met with both Taliban and Afghan government negotiators.

The Pentagon said earlier this month that it would soon pull out some 2,000 troops from Afghanistan, speeding up the timeline of a full withdrawal by May 2021 as agreed with the Taliban in a separate deal signed in February.

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KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A suicide car bomb exploded at the western entry gate of the Afghan capital Friday killing at least three government security troops and wounding four others, an Afghan official said.

Interior Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian said the explosion targeted a government forces checkpoint near the gate.

No one immediately claimed responsibility, though suspicion immediately fell on the Taliban.

Violence and chaos have increased in Afghanistan in recent months even as government negotiators and the Taliban are meeting in Qatar to find an end to decades of relentless war in Afghanistan. The two sides have made little progress.

The attack on the army checkpoint follows weeks of violence, including an attack by gunmen earlier this month claimed by the Islamic State group affiliate at Kabul University that killed 22 people, mostly students.

The government’s head of peace negotiations, Abdullah Abdullah, on Friday urged the Taliban to reach to understanding, finding a peaceful solution to the ongoing war. “we have offered ways but Taliban are not trying to reach to an understanding”

On Thursday, Taliban fighters attacked a government security forces checkpoint in northern Kunduz province, killing five soldiers and wounding two others, said Esmatullah Muradi, provincial governor’s spokesman. The Defense Ministry claims 10 Taliban fighters were killed in the fighting.

Washington’s peace envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, has been pressing for an agreement on a reduction in violence or a cease-fire, which the Taliban have refused, saying a permanent truce would be part of the negotiations.

The talks were part of a negotiated agreement between the United States and the Taliban to allow U.S. and NATO troops withdraw from Afghanistan, ending 19 years of military engagement.

Source Article

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KABUL, Afghanistan — A suicide car bomb exploded at the western entry gate of the Afghan capital Friday killing at least two government security troops and wounding four others, an Afghan official said.

Interior Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian said the explosion targeted a government forces checkpoint near the gate.

No one immediately claimed responsibility, though suspicion immediately fell on the Taliban.

Violence and chaos have increased in Afghanistan in recent months even as government negotiators and the Taliban are meeting in Qatar to find an end to decades of relentless war in Afghanistan. The two sides have made little progress.

The attack on the army checkpoint follows weeks of violence, including an attack by gunmen earlier this month claimed by the Islamic State group affiliate at Kabul University that killed 22 people, mostly students.

The government’s head of peace negotiations, Abdullah Abdullah, on Friday urged the Taliban to reach to understanding, finding a peaceful solution to the ongoing war. “we have offered ways but Taliban are not trying to reach to an understanding”

On Thursday, Taliban fighters attacked a government security forces checkpoint in northern Kunduz province, killing five soldiers and wounding two others, said Esmatullah Muradi, provincial governor’s spokesman. The Defense Ministry claims 10 Taliban fighters were killed in the fighting.

Washington’s peace envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, has been pressing for an agreement on a reduction in violence or a cease-fire, which the Taliban have refused, saying a permanent truce would be part of the negotiations.

The talks were part of a negotiated agreement between the United States and the Taliban to allow U.S. and NATO troops withdraw from Afghanistan, ending 19 years of military engagement.

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