Jalalabad, Jun 17: At least 18 persons were killed in a suicide attack outside Nangarhar provincial governor’s office in the capital Jalalabad. Several others are reported to be injured. Reportedly, the blast, second in as many days to mar an unprecedented ceasefire, happened near Indian Consulate in Afghanistan. No group has claimed the responsibility of the attack yet.
Nangarhar provincial governor’s spokesman Attaullah Khogyani said a suicide bomber on foot had targeted Taliban, local elders and civilians as they left the governor’s compound where they had attended a special event for the Eid holiday.
Yesterday, a suicide attack on a gathering of Taliban, security forces and civilians in a district of the same eastern province of Nangarhar killed at least 36 people and wounded 65 others, provincial health director Najibullah Kamawal was quoted as saying in a media report. The Islamic State group’s Afghanistan franchise claimed responsibility for that attack.
The bomber targeted a gathering of fighters who were celebrating a three-day truce coinciding with the Eid al-Fitr holiday. No one immediately claimed the attack, but it was likely carried out by the Islamic State group, which was not included in the cease-fire and has clashed with the Taliban in the past.
After the attack, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced a nine-day extension of the cease-fire. There was no immediate word from the Taliban on whether they would observe the extension.
The three-day holiday and cease-fire ends Sunday.