At least eight dead in Afghanistan car bomb explosion

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One of the dead and 11 of the 47 injured were members of the Afghan security forces.

A powerful car bomb has killed at least eight people and injured 47 in western Afghanistan’s Herat province, officials said on Saturday.

Hours later, the UN condemned an “alarming” increase in attacks in the country targeting civilians.

The death toll in Friday night’s blast that also destroyed 14 homes is expected to rise as several of the injured were in critical condition, said Rafiq Sherzai, spokesperson for the provincial hospital.

One of the dead and 11 of the injured were members of the Afghan security forces while the rest were civilians, including women and children, Interior Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian said.

No one immediately claimed responsibility.

Hours after the attack, the UN Security Council, during a press briefing in New York, condemned an “alarming” increase in attacks in Afghanistan targeting civilians even as the Taliban and the Afghan government have talks in Qatar. .

“These heinous attacks have targeted officials, the judiciary, the media, healthcare and humanitarian workers, including women in senior positions, those who protect and promote human rights and ethnic and religious minorities,” said the board.

ISIS has claimed responsibility for many of the targeted assassinations while the Taliban and the government have blamed each other for trying to sabotage efforts to reach a peace deal.

The slow pace of talks and the rise in violence prompted the United States to concoct a peace proposal, which was handed in last weekend.

Both sides are expected to review and revise the eight-page plan ahead of a high-profile meeting the United States has offered to hold in Turkey in a few weeks, when Washington hopes to see a deal.

Meanwhile, the United States is examining a peace deal the Trump administration signed with the Taliban, which calls for the final withdrawal of the remaining 2,500 American troops from Afghanistan by May 1.

The growing consensus is in favor of a delay, but in a stern letter last weekend to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani calling for progress in peace with the Taliban, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said all options, including withdrawal, were still on the table.

The proposed US peace deal calls for an interim “peace government” to guide post-war Afghanistan towards elections and constitutional reform. It also calls for the protection of equal rights for women and minorities.

The UN Security Council also called for “the full, equal and meaningful participation of women” and a swift movement towards reducing violence.


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