GHAZNI: A Taliban car bomb in eastern Afghanistan on Sunday killed at least 12 people and wounded many more — including dozens of children — in a massive blast that came amid ongoing peace talks in Qatar, officials said.
The Taliban are meeting with US negotiators and Afghan representatives in Doha as the US pushes to end its 18-year involvement in Afghanistan, but violence from the insurgents and the US military has continued apace.
Sunday’s suicide car bomb attack hit the eastern city of Ghazni and targeted an intelligence unit, Ghazni provincial governor spokesman Aref Noori said.
Wahidullah Mayar, a health ministry spokesman, said 12 people had been killed. He added “179 people, mostly civilians including children, were wounded”, a number that jumped from an earlier toll of 70 and suggested a massive explosion.
According to the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), more than 50 children were among the wounded. It said the total casualty figure was at least 150. “UNAMA condemns the indiscriminate & disproportionate Taliban attack,” the agency said on Twitter.
Save the Children said at least 25 children from a nearby school had been admitted to hospital, many with shrapnel wounds and severe injuries to the head, neck or chest. “This is simply unacceptable and we urge all armed groups in Afghanistan to think of future generations and stop the killing and maiming of innocent children,” said Onno van Manen, Save the Children’s country director in Afghanistan.
The blast comes less than a week after 50 children were wounded in a huge explosion in Kabul that targeted a defence ministry building but also damaged five nearby schools, showering youngsters with flying glass. The Taliban have claimed responsibility for both attacks.
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