Afghan security forces inspect the site of a car bomb attack that targeted governor’s convoy in Mihtarlam on Monday. AFP
A suicide attack targeting an Afghan provincial governor killed at least eight people on Monday, officials said, as the president travelled to Qatar where peace talks with the Taliban have stalled.
Twenty eight people were wounded when the attacker rammed his explosives-filled vehicle into the convoy of Rahmatullah Yarmal, the governor of eastern Laghman province.
"The governor was driving to his office when his car was hit. Four of his bodyguards and four civilians were killed, 28 wounded," the governor's spokesman Assadullah Daulatzai told AFP, adding that the governor was unhurt.
Interior ministry spokesman Tareq Arian confirmed the attack and said most of the wounded were civilians.
Afghan security forces remove a damaged vehicle that targeted governor's convoy in Mihtarlam on Monday. AFP
It comes as President Ashraf Ghani on Monday left for Doha to meet with Qatari officials, three weeks after the launch of landmark peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.
Ghani will first stop in Kuwait to offer condolences over the death of emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, his spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said.
Talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government negotiators, aimed at ending Afghanistan's 19-year conflict, have stalled over disagreements on how to frame a code of conduct that will guide the broader talks.
The Taliban, who are Sunni hardliners, are insisting on adherence to the Hanafi school of Sunni Islamic jurisprudence, but the government negotiators say this could be used to discriminate against Hazaras, who are predominantly Shia, and other minorities in the country.
Another contentious topic is how the US-Taliban deal will shape a future peace deal and how it will be referred to.
No one has so far claimed responsibility for the Laghman attack, but the Taliban are active in the region.
On Saturday, a suicide bomber detonated a vehicle full of explosives at the entrance an administrative building in eastern Nangarhar province, killing 15 people, mostly civilians, officials said.Agence France-Presse
Abdul Samad Salehi, a provincial councilman, says the convoy was heading to defuse a roadside bomb on Wednesday afternoon when the ambush happened in Anardara district.
Deadly violence has been taking a heavy toll on civilians in Afghanistan despite the ongoing peace negotiations and that’s not acceptable. The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has in its latest report stated that more civilians were killed by Afghan and international coalition forces in the first half of this
The Taliban however claimed the attack was actually a coordinated insurgent assault on the checkpoint where the shooting took place, killing over two dozen militiamen, according to Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.
Gunmen disguised as police attacked a hospital in the Afghan capital, Kabul, on Tuesday, killing 16 people including two newborn babies, their mothers from a maternity clinic run by the international humanitarian organisation Doctors Without Borders.
The shooters claimed that the woman wanted to marry her cousin Waqas, brother of Abbas, who was living in Italy but her brother opposed it. According to the report, the brother wanted her sister to marry a well-educated person, but she refused.
Several infrastructure projects and emissions from nearby refineries were the possible reasons, said a government official who did not want to be named as he was not authorised to talk to the media.
"I think it's very exciting that the UAE, an OPEC member, is going to host COP28, and it's so important that you have an oil and gas producing nation step up and say we understand the challenge of the climate crisis,” Kerry told Reuters in an interview.