The toll from an explosion in Afghanistan rises to 15, all of them children

The death toll from an explosion that occurred on Friday near a place where religious ceremonies were being held in the city of Ghazni in eastern Afghanistan has risen to 15 dead, all of them children, in addition to twenty wounded, According to administrative and police sources.

"15 children were killed," a spokesman for Ghazni's governor, Wahidullah Jum`zadeh, said.

He explained that the bike, which was loaded with explosives, exploded near a house where people were meeting to participate in a lecture on the Qur’an in Gilan province.

The toll was confirmed by State Police spokesman Ahmed Khan Sirat. The two speakers also reported that twenty other people, including children, were injured in the explosion.

Jumahzadeh said the area where the blast occurred was under Taliban control.

In Ghazni Province, clashes often occur between the Taliban and the Afghan army. In late November, 30 soldiers were killed in a suicide car bomb attack against an army base.

Afghanistan is witnessing an upsurge in violence, as Taliban insurgents have launched almost daily attacks against government forces in recent weeks, especially in rural areas, despite the ongoing peace talks since September in Doha between the two parties.

These negotiations were suspended until January 5. The two sides should agree on the agenda for the talks.

Under an agreement with the Taliban in February in Doha, the United States agreed to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan by May 2021, in exchange for security guarantees and the Taliban's commitment to negotiations with Kabul.

On Friday, Taliban negotiators traveled to Pakistan to meet Prime Minister Imran Khan, who called for a reduction in violence and a ceasefire.


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