RFE/RL’s Radio Free Afghanistan
July 10, 2018
A suicide bombing close to a security checkpoint In the Afghan city of Jalalabad has killed at least 12 people, with the extremist group Islamic State (IS) claiming responsibility for the attack.
The dead in the attack on July 10 included at least eight civilians and two security personnel, according to a statement from the Nangarhar Province governor’s office.
The explosion caused a fire that damaged shops and vehicles in the area, the statement said.
“Most of the victims were children who were working at a car wash close to the suicide bombing site,” said Sohrab Qaderi, a member of the provincial council.
Officials said they were trying to identify the charred bodies of children.
Attahullah Khogyani, a spokesman for the provincial governor, said that four others were wounded in the attack in the eastern city.
The bomber was on foot and targeted the intelligence service, Khogyani said.
He said the attack set a nearby gas station on fire.
IS claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement on its Amaq news agency.
Both the Taliban and a local IS affiliate have carried out numerous attacks in Nangarhar Province.
On July 1, a suicide bomber targeted a group of Hindus and Sikhs in Jalalabad, killing at least 19 people and wounding some 20 others.
The July 10 attack comes a day after U.S. Secretary Of State Mike Pompeo expressed hope for peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.
“An element of the progress is the capacity that we now have to believe that there is now hope,” Pompeo said on July 9 during an unannounced visit to Kabul where he spoke at a joint press conference with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.
He also repeated assurances that Washington was prepared to participate in direct talks with the Taliban, but repeated that the peace process would be Afghan-led. Support from other neighboring countries would also be needed, he added.
With reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP
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