More than 50 people have been killed in a wave of attacks across three Afghan provinces, including the capital Kabul.
Five employees of the ministry of mines and petroleum were killed and 10 were wounded in an attack on a bus carrying government employees in Kabul on Thursday, officials said, adding that seven people were killed and more than 20 wounded in a second explosion on the same area.
“First a magnetic bomb pasted to a minibus exploded, then a suicide bomber blew himself near the bus attack site and the third blast happened when a car was blown up by unknown militants,” said Nasrat Rahimi, a spokesman of the interior ministry in Kabul.
“The death toll could rise from all the three blasts,” he said.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the car bomb, saying that a convoy of “foreign invaders” passing the area was targeted in the bombing.
On the same day outside of the capital, nine civilians — six women and three children — were killed and four were wounded in a roadside bombing in the eastern province of Nangarhar, the provincial governor’s office said in a statement.
The roadside bomb struck a minibus carrying a family that was heading to a wedding, according to the statement. The attack occurred in Nangarhar’s Khogyani district.
In the northern province of Takhar, at least 35 police officers were killed in a Taliban attack on security facilities. At least 12 people, including six police officers, were also injured in an hours-long gunbattle that took place in the Ishkamish district, former district Governor Sayed Mehrabuddin said.
The attacks came as US Marine General Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was meeting top US and NATO officials in Kabul.
Hours later, Daesh terrorist group issued a statement claiming responsibility for two blasts in the Afghan capital.
The United States is trying to negotiate a deal that would see foreign forces pull out of Afghanistan in return for various security guarantees by Taliban militants, including a pledge that the country will not become a safe haven for terror groups.
Afghan security experts said the insurgents were increasing attacks to gain greater leverage in the peace talks.
The eighth round of talks is expected to begin this month in Qatar.
The latest violence came as a spokesman for Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah told local media outlet TOLOnews on July 24 that the Taliban can take part in the September 28 presidential election if they start negotiations with the Afghan government.