At least 15 people have been killed and more than 34 others injured in an attack using Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED), which was followed by armed clashes in eastern Afghanistan, official sources said Saturday.
The attack took place around 12.20 pm local time in Shinwar district in Nangarhar province, which is located around 40 kilometers (25 miles) east of Jalalabad city, as militants targeted the district headquarters with an explosive-laden vehicle, the provincial governor’s spokesperson Attaullah Khogyanai told EFE.
“In this attack so far 15 people have been killed and over 32 injured,” Khogyanai said without giving any details about the identity of the victims.
He said following the vehicle bombing, a number of suicide attackers also engaged in clashes with the security forces at the district headquarters.
A statement from the governor’s office in Nangarhar underlined that children were among the casualties of the attack.
Although initial information indicates that all the attackers have been killed by security forces, clearance operations continue in the area to secure it further.
“These are initial information and we currently gathering further details,” the spokesperson said.
A video of the blast site released by the governor’s office showed the entire area devastated by the explosion, with cars, nearby buildings and roads completely destroyed.
No group so far claimed the responsibility for the attack. Both Taliban and Daesh group fighters are known to be active in Nangarhar province.
These incidents come at a time when representatives of the Afghan government and the Taliban are holding initial meetings for the ongoing peace negotiations in the Qattari capital of Doha for the last three weeks.
A ceasefire between the Afghan security forces and the Taliban is expected to be one of the top points on the agenda of the negotiators, and it could bring an end to nearly two decades of war in the country.
However, the discussions have remained stuck over various disagreements, including the role of the United States’ agreement with the Taliban in the peace process, as the insurgents demanded on Sunday that the talks should be based on their agreement with Washington signed in February. EFE-EPA