Suicide bomber detonates inside govt building in east Afghanistan

Afghan security forces inspect the site of a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan September 17, 2019. — Reuters pic
Afghan security forces inspect the site of a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan September 17, 2019. — Reuters pic

JALALABAD, Sept 18 — A suicide bomber has detonated inside a government building in eastern Afghanistan, a provincial official said today, with casualties feared in the latest violence to hit the war-torn country.

Witnesses and an AFP reporter also described hearing gunshots immediately after the blast at the electronic identification registration centre in Jalalabad, capital of Nangarhar province, where both the Taliban and the Islamic State group are active.

“Security forces are in the area to rescue the staff,” said provincial spokesman Ataullah Khogyani.

No group immediately claimed the attack.

It came a day after the Taliban killed nearly 50 people and wounded dozens more in two separate attacks, one near a campaign rally for President Ashraf Ghani in the central province of Parwan, and one in Kabul.

The militants have vowed to disrupt the upcoming presidential election, scheduled for September 28.

They have also promised more violence after US President Donald Trump called off talks earlier this month seeking a deal that would have allowed Washington to begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, the site of America’s longest war. — AFP

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