Blast in Afghanistan targets crowded market, leaves 19 dead
A suicide bombing Wednesday at a crowded market in northern Afghanistan killed 19 people and left at least 28 others injured, officials said.
The blast in Faryab province was caused by explosives attached to a motorcycle, said Mohammad Saleh Saleh, governor of the local Almar district. The dead included 10 members of the country’s security forces, he said.
Many people were out in public Wednesday in the aftermath of the Eid al-Fitr holiday that marked the end of the monthlong Islamic fasting time of Ramadan.
No group took immediate responsibility for the attack, which was under investigation amid speculation that the security forces at the market were targeted.
The bombing came days after Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum, Afghanistan’s first vice president, visited the province to mark Eid al-Fitr and vowed that the government would stand by the increasingly volatile area. On July 15, an explosion in front of a bank in Maimana, the provincial capital, injured at least 20 people.
Speaking Friday in Maimana, Dostum called on forces loyal to the Taliban and other opposition groups to lay down their arms and join in the peace process called for by President Ashraf Ghani. The government recently began talks with some elements of the Taliban.
Nicholas Haysom, the special representative in Afghanistan for United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, condemned Wednesday’s bombing, saying the targeting of civilians demonstrated “an appalling disregard for human life.”
Elsewhere in the country, two children were killed and another two injured when an improvised explosive device, or IED, exploded in the eastern province of Logar.
Latifi is a special correspondent.
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