Three blasts kill at least two in Afghanistan's Jalalabad

One attack targetted a Taliban vehicle patrolling in Jalalabad


AFP September 18, 2021

KABUL:

Two people were killed when three blasts struck the Afghan city of Jalalabad on Saturday, at least one of which targeted a Taliban vehicle, in the country's first deadly attack since the United States withdrew.

The group stormed to power in mid-August, ousting the government and promising to restore security to the violence-wracked country.

"In one attack a Taliban vehicle patrolling in Jalalabad was targeted," a Taliban official who asked not to be named told AFP.

"Women and children were among the injured," he added.

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An official from the health department of Nangarhar Province told AFP that three people died and 18 were wounded, while several local media reported the attacks left at least two dead.

Pictures taken at the site of the blast showed a green pick-up truck with a white Taliban flag surrounded by debris as armed fighters looked on.

Jalalabad is the capital of Nangarhar, the heartland of the Islamic State group's Afghanistan branch.

A chaotic US-led evacuation of foreigners and Afghans who worked for international forces was marred by a devastating bomb attack claimed by the IS which killed scores of people.

But since the last American troop left on August 30, the violence-wracked country that was plagued by fighting, bombs and air strikes, has been free of major incidents.

Meanwhile, a top United States general admitted it had made a "mistake" when it launched a drone strike against suspected Islamic State (IS) militants in Kabul last month, instead killing 10 civilians, including children.

The strike during the final days of the US pullout was meant to target a suspected IS operation that US intelligence believed with "reasonable certainty" was planning to attack Kabul airport, said US Central Command commander General Kenneth McKenzie.

"The strike was a tragic mistake," McKenzie told reporters after an investigation.

McKenzie said the government was looking into how payments for damages could be made to the families of those killed.

"I offer my deepest condolences to surviving family members of those who were killed," US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement.

The UN Security Council voted Friday to extend the UN political mission in Afghanistan for six months, with a focus on development issues but not peacekeeping.

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