Afghan National Army and local police forces patrol during a cleaning operation in Herat province. AFP
Gulf Today Reporter
At least 34 were killed in two separate suicide bombings in Afghanistan on Sunday. They targeted a military base and a provincial chief, officials said.
The attack, one of the bloodiest attacks in recent months, 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.
There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the attacks, which took place as Afghan government representatives and the Taliban hold face-to-face talks in Qatar for the first time to end the country’s decades-long war.
A security personnel holding a rocket-propelled grenade stands at a site after a suicide car bomber struck an army base on the outskirts of Ghazni province on Sunday. AFP
In eastern Ghazni province, 31 soldiers were killed and 24 others wounded when the attacker drove a military humvee full of explosives onto an army commando base before detonating the car bomb, according to an official in Afghanistan’s National Security Council, who spoke anonymously because he was not permitted to speak directly to the media.
Ghazni provincial health department chief, Zahir Shah Nikmal, also confirmed the death toll and casualty figures from the attack.
Afghanistan's Defense Ministry released a statement claiming 10 soldiers were killed and nine wounded. The ministry also offered a different account of what happened than the official at the National Security Council, saying the vehicle exploded near the army base after security forces opened fire on the car. It was not immediately clear why there was a discrepancy.
Interior Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian said a suicide bombing took place, though he did not provide further details.The soldiers stationed at the base were responsible for conducting night raids, providing support to the army and police forces under siege, and taking part in large-scale operations against the Taliban and Daesh group in eastern and southern provinces of Afghanistan.
The bloodshed in the capital comes amid an ongoing surge in attacks across Afghanistan, where some 1,500 people were killed or injured last month alone.
The toll was likely to rise as scores of people were rushed to hospitals, government spokesman told the media. Earlier, the director of the Aamin Ambulance service, confirmed the 76 dead and said more than 50 others were wounded.
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