18 killed in suicide blast in Afghanistan on 1st day of Ramadan

A suicide attack has killed at least 18 people and injured six others in Afghanistan’s Khost Province on the first day of Ramadan. Attacks by militants in Badghis Province have also reportedly left 36 people dead and 50 more wounded.

A car bomb went off near a bus station and a football field close to a military base in Afghanistan's southeastern Khost Province on Saturday.

The attack targeted police vehicles, Tolo News reports, citing local officials.

The attack left at least 18 people dead and six more injured, including two children, according to Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish. 

The car bomb attack “targeted an Afghan militia force that works with US forces,” according to Bilal Sarwary, a journalist based in the area. Speaking to RT, he also said that the attack occurred in a very crowded place near a busy taxi stand. The area is a stronghold of the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani network, according to Sarwary.

There is no information so far on who is responsible for the assault.

It comes as militants attacked security forces in the Qadis District of the northwestern province of Badghis, spokesman for the provincial governor Zahir Bahand confirmed, according to Reuters.

Fighting between the militants and security forces has claimed lives of at least 36 people, including six officers and eight civilians, as well as 22 militants. At least 50 were injured, including civilians and militants.

Bahand did not elaborate on who carried out the assaults in Qadis. Afghan security forces and army personnel are fighting Islamic State (IS, formerly ISSI/ISIL) militants and Taliban insurgents in the area.

On Friday, a blast killed 10 civilians and wounded six more as a moving vehicle ran over a roadside bomb in Adraskan District of Herat Province, 640km west of Kabul.

More than 2,100 civilians were killed or injured between January and March, according to the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. 

In April, the Taliban announced the start of their annual ‘spring offensive,’ threatening in particular to harass, kill, and capture foreign forces in the country.

The Islamic holy month of Ramadan started on Saturday, beginning a religious fast for most of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims. The first day of Ramadan is a public holiday in Afghanistan.

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