At least 12 dead in Taleban blast in Afghan city

GHAZNI, Afghanistan (AFP) – A Taleban car bomb in eastern Afghanistan killed at least 12 people and wounded scores more yesterday, officials said, in a massive blast that came amid ongoing peace talks in Qatar.

The Taleban are meeting with United States (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.

Yesterday’s suicide car bomb attack hit the eastern city of Ghazni and targetted an intelligence unit, Ghazni Provincial Governor spokesman Aref Noori told AFP.

Health Ministry spokesman Wahidullah Mayar said 12 people had been killed. Additionally, “179 people, mostly civilians including children, were wounded,” he added.

The number of wounded jumped up from an earlier toll of 70 and suggests a massive explosion.

The Taleban claimed the attack in a WhatsApp message.

The seventh round of Taleban-US talks is aimed at forging a deal that would see the US military quit Afghanistan in return for various guarantees.

Both sides have reported substantial progress in the talks, which are paused yesterday and today while the Taleban meet with Afghan representatives for a so-called intra-Afghan dialogue.

Afghan security forces inspect the site of a car bomb attack in Ghazni province of Afghanistan. – AP