Crescent Kashmir

Four killed in attacks across Afghanistan

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KABUL: At least four people were killed in separate attacks across Afghanistan on Monday, officials said, raising further concerns about the fate of peace talks that have been suspended until at least next month.

No one claimed responsibility for the attacks. A local militant Islamic State (IS) group affiliate opposed to the peace process has continued to regularly target civilians and Afghan security forces. The IS militants have even clashed with the larger and more well-established Taliban.

The Taliban have halted their attacks on US and international forces but continue to target Afghan security forces even as the insurgents have held talks this year with the US-backed government.

The Taliban attacked a police district headquarters in the western Farah province early on Monday, killing one policeman and wounding three others, according to Mohibullah Mohib, a spokesman for the provincial police chief.

He said the attack began when a suicide bomber was shot by police. His vehicle exploded, however, and then gunmen opened fire. He said at least four insurgents were killed and eight others were wounded.

In the eastern Ghazni province, two employees of the provincial revenue agency were shot and killed, according to Ahmad Khan Serat, a spokesman for the provincial police chief.

In the eastern Khost province, a roadside bomb killed a member of the security forces and wounded two other people, including a provincial council member, according to Kafel Rayan, head of the provincial council.

In two explosions on Monday in the capital Kabul, at least six people were wounded, according to Kabul police. One targeted employees of the National Statistics Authority, who were in a mini-bus in the Guzargah neighborhood. That blast wounded at least six people, said Ferdaws Faramarz, spokesman for the Kabul police chief. He said the bomb had been placed on a bicycle.

Earlier, a sticky bomb blew up a vehicle belonging to security forces in the Kolola Pushta area of the city, said Faramarz, but caused no casualties. He said investigations into both attacks had begun.

In a separate development, three Afghan senators have been arrested on bribery charges in the northern Balkh province, said Jamshid Rasooli, a spokesman for the attorney general.

He said in a statement released on Monday that the three, who were arrested the day before, were suspected of taking bribes amounting to $40,000. Afghanistan consistently ranks among the most corrupt countries in the world.

Published in Dawn, December 29th, 2020

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