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Suicide bomber kills 19, wounds 32 in Afghanistan’s Faryab

AT-KABUL: A suicide bomber killed 19 and wounded 32 people including women and children in an insecure district of Afghanistan’s northwestern Faryab province on Wednesday.

The attack took place in Almar district of Faryab province today at 11:45 am in central bazaar of the district.

No group claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing, but the Taliban are fighting security forces in remote parts of this district.

“The attack took place today at noon in a crowded area, leaving 19 people, mostly civilians dead, and 32 more injured,” Sayd Masoud Yaqubi, provincial police spokesman told Afghanistan Times.

The target of the attacker was security forces but he failed and detonated his explosives in the area crowded by civilians. Children were also among the killed and injured, he said.

Civilians often fall victim to insurgent attacks, with almost 1,000 Afghan civilians killed during the first four months of the year, according to the U.N. mission in Afghanistan.

Ghani’s government has drawn criticism for failing to end an increasing number of insurgent attacks, which critics partly blame on the protracted delay in the appointment of a defense minister. The government has introduced different nominees for the position, however, were rejected by the Wolesi Jirga.

The crucial post has not been filled since Ghani came to power last September.

The U.S.-led NATO forces ended their combat mission in Afghanistan in December, leaving local forces to battle the Taliban alone, but a 13,000-strong residual force remains for training and counter-terrorism operations.

Afghan officials sat down with Taliban cadres this month in Murree, a tourist town in the hills north of Islamabad, Pakistan, for their first face-to-face talks aimed at ending the bloody insurgency.

They agreed to meet again in the coming weeks, drawing praise from Islamabad, Beijing, Washington and the United Nations.

Afghan officials have not said when and where the next round of negotiations will take place, but they are widely expected to be conducted in the coming days.

But despite the willingness to engage in peace talks there has been no letup in militant attacks on foreign and government targets, leaving Afghan forces stretched on multiple fronts and inflicting a heavy blow on civilians.

Earlier this month 33 people were killed in a suicide attack at a military base in the eastern province of Khost and a few days later 25 civilians were wounded in a bombing inside a mosque in northern Baghlan province.

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