Nangarhar Death Toll Climbs To 68

Lester Mason
September 13, 2018

A suicide bomber targeted a group of men demanding the dismissal of a local police commander in Nangarhar province's Achin district, Ataullah Khogyani, the governor's spokesman, told Al Jazeera.

The attack came hours after smaller bombs targeted at least three schools in and around Jalalabad, killing a boy and wounding four people.

"Then the explosion happened and I found myself surrounded by blood and flesh", Khan said from his hospital bed.

The latest toll, reported by Attaullah Khogyani, a spokesman for the provincial governor, was up from an earlier figure of 32, according to The Associated Press.

There has been no claim of responsibility for the massacre.

The bombs were reportedly hidden inside the schools as part of the planned attack.

This comes nearly a month after Jalalabad City, the provincial capital of Nangarhar, faced a string of deadly attacks that left dozens of civilians dead.

The escalating violence has dampened hopes of peace talks to end Afghanistan's 17-year conflict but two Taliban officials on Tuesday told Reuters the movement was preparing for another meeting with USA officials following one in July.

There has been speculation the two sides will meet again this month.

The information could not be immediately confirmed.

Afghan president Ashraf Ghani strongly condemned the suicide attack against the demonstrators in Nangarhar.

The country's stretched security forces will be tasked with protecting thousands of polling stations around the country at a time when they are already struggling to beat back insurgents.

There are already concerns about widespread fraud.

After seizing a military base in Sar-e-Pul, Taliban fighters were closing in on the provincial capital in a situation that could result in "disaster" if reinforcements were not sent, the area's police chief Abdul Qayom Baqizoy warned on Monday.

Afghan government forces have struggled to counter attacks from both the Taliban and the IS group since the withdrawal of most North Atlantic Treaty Organisation combat troops in 2014.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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