On Sunday, Afghanistan saw two isolated suicide bombings. The bombings at two different locations killed at least 34 people. Officials said that the bombings targeted a military base and a provincial chief.
Till now, nobody has claimed responsibility for the attacks. The attack happened during talks between Afghan government representatives and the Taliban in Qatar. This will be the first time both parties have decided to hold face-to-face talks to bring Afghanistan’s decades-long war to an end.
First attack was at the Ghazi Province
The first attack was at the eastern province of Ghazi. The bomber drove a military Humvee into an army commando base. The attacker then detonated the car bomb that killed 31 soldiers and left 24 others injured. The source indicates that the information comes from an anonymous official. The official is in the National Security Council (NSC) of Afghanistan and is currently not under permission to speak to the media directly.
Zahir Shah Nikmal, the provincial health department chief has confirmed this casualty figure. Tariq Arian, the Interior Ministry spokesman confirmed that a suicide bombing took place at the base. He didn’t disclose any additional information.
According to a statement by the Afghanistan Defense Ministry, the bombing killed 10 soldiers and wounded 9 more. The ministry’s statement also had a different account of the attack than the NSC. According to the ministry, the vehicle exploded near the army base after it faced open fire from the security forces. The source has noted that the discrepancy is still not clear.
The commando base is about three miles outside the city of Ghazni in a desert region. The soldiers stationed at the base conduct night raids and provide support to the army and police forces under siege. They also play a huge part in large-scale operations in the eastern and southern parts of Afghanistan. These operations are mainly against the Taliban and the militant group Islamic State.
The explosion destroyed parts of the base and a police station close by. Many buildings in the city also had their windows blown.
Another attack shocked Afghanistan the same day
That was not the only attack that shook Afghanistan on Sunday.
Another bombing took place in the southern part of the country. This was another suicide car bomber that targeted the provincial council chief’s convoy in Zabol. The explosion killed at least three people and wounded 21 others. Provincial spokesman Gul Islam Sial has confirmed the details and also mentioned that the casualty included children.
Provincial police spokesman Hikmatullah Kochai gave an official statement regarding this second attack. He said that Attajan Haqbayat, the provincial council chief barely survived the attack but attained minor injuries. Although, the attack took the life of one of his bodyguards.
Violence in Afghanistan has seen a massive rise. Since the beginning of the peace talks in September, the Taliban has also increased their forces upon the country’s security forces. The Islamic State militants are also responsible for a series of violent offenses in Afghanistan. This includes the Kabul University attack that took the lives of 22 people, including students.
The US plans to withdraw more than 2,500 troops before mid-January. This has concered Afghan officials who fear that withdrawing troops will lead to the Taliban having a stronger hand at the talks.