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Blast claims 22 lives in Afghanistan’s Jalalabad

18 April 2015 10:19


An explosion in Afghanistan’s eastern city of Jalalabad has killed at least 22 people and injured some 50 others, officials say.

Police chief for Nangarhar province Fazel Ahmad Sherzad said the blast occurred on Saturday outside a bank in the provincial capital.

Sherzad said an attacker riding a motorbike detonated his explosives as both military servicemen and civilians were waiting to receive their salaries from the bank.

This is while Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, spokesman for the provincial governor in Nangarha, said a separate explosion took place near a shrine in the city, in which no one was injured.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks, but officials have blamed the Taliban militants for similar attacks in the past.

The blasts come just days after at least 18 Afghan soldiers were killed following an attack by Taliban militants against an army outpost in the northeastern province of Badakhshan.

On April 12, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) released a report showing a rise in civilian deaths amid clashes between Taliban militants and Afghan government forces.

According to the UNAMA report, over 136 civilians were killed and more than 521 injured in the first quarter of the year.

The United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan in 2001 as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror. The offensive removed Taliban from power, but insecurity still remains in some provinces.

The US-led combat mission in Afghanistan ended on December 31, 2014. However, at least 13,500 foreign forces, mainly from the United States, have remained in the country in what Washington calls a support mission. NATO says the forces will focus mainly on counterterrorism operations and training Afghan soldiers and policemen.

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