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24 Nov, 2020 18:03

Two explosions in central Afghanistan kill 14 people, wound 45 – officials

Two explosions in central Afghanistan kill 14 people, wound 45 – officials

At least 14 people have been killed and dozens more injured after twin blasts in the central Afghan province of Bamiyan on Tuesday afternoon, provincial officials said.

The explosives were hidden at the side of a road in a main bazaar in Bamiyan city and claimed the lives of 12 civilians and two traffic policemen, while wounding 45 other people, Reuters quoted Zabardast Safai, the police chief of the province, as saying. 

The people who sustained injuries in the attack were mostly in a nearby restaurant and shops at the time of the blasts, according to Safai.

A spokesperson at the Afghan Ministry of Interior Affairs, Tariq Arian, confirmed the bombing, saying that explosives had been detonated in front of the Insaf Market in the bazaar area in Bamiyan, “killing a traffic officer along with 13 civilians.”

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Bamiyan police spokesperson, Mohammad Reza Yousufi, said the two explosions occurred less than a kilometer apart, adding that “there is a lot of damage.”

Afghan media cited sources saying that at least 17 people were killed and over 50 more were wounded in explosions close to a hotel in the center of Bamiyan province.

The city is visited by thousands of tourists every year, and the remote province – located in Afghanistan’s central mountains – had been considered one of the safest in the country.

The dominant local tribe, the Hazara Shia minority, opposed the Taliban, which is mostly made up of ethnic Pashtuns who reportedly massacred thousands of Hazara during their rule.

Bamiyan city is known for the large Buddha statues that were destroyed by the Taliban months before their fall.

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid denied responsibility for the blasts on Tuesday, and condemned them on social media.

The attacks happened as world leaders began pledging billions of dollars in aid for Afghanistan at an international conference in Geneva. Peace talks between the government in Kabul and Taliban rebels, who have been waging an insurgency against the Western-backed administration, have stalled, and the militant group has not been invited to the Geneva conference.

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