July 31, 2018
ISLAMABAD — Afghan officials say insurgents attacked security forces and government buildings in the country’s eastern and western provinces killing and wounding scores of people.
In western Farah province, officials said a roadside bomb early Tuesday killed at least 11 passengers and wounding around 40 others.
A provincial government spokesman, Nasar Mehri, told VOA that women and children were among the victims. He claimed that Taliban insurgents had recently planted the bomb in the Bala Buluk district to target Afghan security forces.
There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the deadly blast.
Hours later, an unknown number of heavily armed suicide bombers assaulted a government building in eastern Afghanistan injuring at least 10 injured people.
Officials said the insurgents targeted the department for refugee affairs in Jalalabad, capital of the Nangarhar province bordering Pakistan.
Provincial government spokesman Attahullah Khogyani told VOA the attack began with a suicide bomber blowing himself up at the entrance and enabling the assailants to storm the building where a high-level meeting was underway.
Afghan security forces swiftly surrounded the compound and a gunfight ensued. Television footage showed fire burning from the building shortly after the siege started.
The Taliban insurgency has denied its involvement in the attack, strengthening suspicions Islamic State could be behind the violence. The terrorist group has claimed most of the attacks in Nangarhar in the past month, including the beheading of three school guards and a suicide blast that killed 19 people, mostly members of the tiny Afghan Sikh minority.
“The country’s franchise of Islamic State [known as IS-K] has managed to gain a foothold in the province when it had failed elsewhere, exploiting the disarray of government forces and the fragmentation of the local insurgency,” said the independent Bureau of Investigative Journalism in a report issued Monday.
Civilians continue to bear the brunt of the armed conflict and terrorist attacks in Afghanistan. The United Nations reported earlier this month that the violence has killed nearly 1,700 civilians, the highest number of fatalities in a six-month period in the last decade.
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