RFE/RL – Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (Author)
February 27, 2016
Two suicide bomb attacks in Afghanistan have killed at least 23 people and wounded dozens more.
At least 11 people were killed, including an Afghan militia commander, in a suicide attack near the Afghan border with Pakistan.
The provincial governor said most of the victims of the February 27 bombing in Kunar Province were "civilians and children."
Wahidullah Kalimzai said the bomber rode up on a motorcycle to the government compound in the provincial capital, Asadabad, and blew himself up.
"A suicide bomber detonated his explosives attached to his body in front of the provincial government headquarters," Kalimzai said.
At least another 40 people were also wounded.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility but the apparent target of the attack, a tribal elder and militia commander named Haji Khan Jan, was among the dead.
He had been closely involved in a number of operations against the Taliban in his district last year.
Another suicide bomber struck on February 27 in Kabul, killing at least 12 people and wounding 13 near the Defense Ministry compound, according to Afghan police.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in the Afghan capital.
The Defense Ministry said in a statement that two Afghan soldiers were killed and eight others injured in the attack.
Kabul police chief Abdul Rahman Rahimi said five women were also killed in the blast.
The number killed or wounded in 2015 was the highest recorded since 2009.
According to a UN report published earlier this month, there were more than 11,000 civilian casualties in 2015, including 3,545 deaths.
The attacks come amid fresh efforts by Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, and the United States to restart talks aimed at ending the Taliban's nearly 15-year insurgency.
The four countries have called for direct talks between the Taliban and Kabul next week.
Copyright (c) 2010-2020. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.