PESHAWAR: At least 50 people lost their lives and dozens others were injured in an air strike and a car bombing in Afghanistan on Thursday.
Officials said that at least 30 civilians were killed and 40 were injured in an air strike conducted by the Afghan security forces, backed by the US air support, in eastern Afghanistan, while at least 20 people were killed and almost 100 wounded in a car bombing in the country’s south, claimed by the Taliban militants.
The air strike carried out by the US and Afghan forces was aimed to target a hideout of the Islamic State militants, but it accidentally targeted farmers near a field, which resulted in the civilian casualties.
Nangarhar Provincial Council member Sohrab Qaderi said a drone strike killed 30 workers in a pine-nut field and at least 40 others sustained injuries. The provincial governor’s spokesman Attaullah Khogyani said the air strike occurred in the Khogyani district. He said civilian casualties occurred in the air strike.
The US forces did not immediately offer any comment on the incident.
In another incident, a car-bomb blast in Zabul province killed at least 20 people and injured 97 others. The car bomb targeted an intelligence-services building in Qalat city and also hit the city hospital. Provincial governor Rahmatullah Yarmal confirmed the incident and casualties.
The Afghan Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi claimed responsibility for the attack.
The wounded persons were shifted to different hospitals.
The blast in Zabul came two days after Afghan Taliban said their doors are still open for dialogue if the US president is interested to resume contact with them.
Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, head of the Taliban negotiating team in Doha, said in an interview that the only way of peace in Afghanistan is talks. He rejected the apprehensions of the US and insisted that the Taliban have done nothing wrong.
The Taliban chief negotiator’s interview appeared few hours after at least 48 people were killed and dozens more wounded in two separate attacks in Afghanistan – one at a campaign rally by President Ashraf Ghani and the other in the capital, Kabul.
The rally of Ashraf Ghani was hit by a suicide bomber on a motorcycle in which the president remained safe, but at least 26 people were killed and 42 others were injured.
Just over an hour later, another blast rocked central Kabul near the US embassy. Authorities initially did not give casualty figures, but later said 22 people had been killed and a further 38 wounded.