14 killed in central Afghanistan bomb blasts

2020-11-25 16:00:14 GMT2020-11-26 00:00:14(Beijing Time) Sina English

Afghan security personnel arrive at a site after two blasts ripped through in the city of Bamiyan on Tuesday.

Roadside bombs in central Afghanistan killed at least 13 civilians and a traffic policeman on Tuesday, even as government negotiators and the Taliban meet to try to end decades of war.

Tariq Arian, spokesman for the Afghan Interior Ministry, said 45 people were also wounded in the late afternoon blast in Bamiyan city in Bamiyan province. Several shops and vehicles were destroyed or damaged.

Mohammad Reza Yusuofi, spokesman for the provincial police chief in Bamiyan, said two bombs exploded in quick succession.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack and Zabihullah Mujahid, Taliban spokesman, said the group was not involved.

The Islamic State group affiliate in Afghanistan has declared war on the minority Shiite Muslims — and Bamiyan is a mostly Shiite province.

Violence and chaos have increased in Afghanistan recently even as government negotiators and the Taliban are meeting in Qatar to find an end to decades of relentless war.

The two sides have made little progress.

The IS affiliate has claimed responsibility for recent attacks in Afghanistan, including two horrific assaults on educational institutions that killed at least 50 people, most of them students.

The US blamed it for an attack on a maternity hospital earlier this year that killed 24 new mothers and babies.

The hospital was in Kabul’s Dasht-e-Barchi neighborhood, dominated by ethnic Hazaras who are mostly Shiites.

If Tuesday’s attack is claimed by the IS affiliate, it would mark a significant escalation of conflicts and signal the group penetrated a province considered a refuge from fighting elsewhere.