KABUL – A wave of attacks left at least 12 dead and dozens injured in Afghanistan on Tuesday, officials said, including a Taliban truck bomb in the north that struck an Afghan force base.
The violence came as expectations rise that negotiations between the Afghan government and insurgents could soon begin.
The truck bomb exploded in Balkh province in the north of the country, killing three people, including two Afghan commandos and a civilian, said Munir Ahmad Farhad, a spokesman for the governor of the region.
According to Hanif Rezaie, a spokesman for the army in the north of the country, the initial military investigation determined that at least six troops and 35 civilians were injured in the explosion, which also destroyed nearby civilian homes.
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the Balkh attack in a tweet stating that “dozens” of military personnel were killed. The Taliban often exaggerate what happened on the battlefield.
Civilians continue to be the hardest hit by the war raging in the country, despite efforts to initiate peace talks between the Kabul government and the Taliban and to find a roadmap for postwar Afghanistan.
A car bomb attack near a market in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province left at least three dead and five people injured on Tuesday. So far no group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
The dialogue is envisioned within the framework of a peace accord between the United States and the Taliban signed in February, but its start has been hampered by a series of delays that have frustrated Washington. Some expected negotiations to start earlier this month.
According to a report published in July by the United Nations, 1,282 people died from violence in Afghanistan in the first six months of 2020.
Also Tuesday, an attack on a pro-government forces checkpoint in western Ghor province killed eight soldiers and wounded five more, said Arif Aber, a spokesman for the provincial governor. The attack in Shahrak district triggered a five-hour shootout.
At least 23 civilians were killed and 15 others injured in a mortar attack and an explosive-laden vehicle on Monday at a cattle market in southern Afghanistan’s Helmand province.
No one claimed responsibility for that attack, but the authorities blamed the Taliban, who have claimed responsibility for numerous previous attacks on checkpoints in Ghor.
In the capital Kabul, a roadside bomb killed a police officer and another police officer and their driver were injured when unknown attackers opened fire on them, said Ferdaws Faramarz, a spokesman for the Kabul police chief.
The police, Saba Saher, who is also a well-known actress, was stable after the shooting.
No one claimed responsibility for the attacks in Kabul, but both the Taliban and the Islamic State have an active presence in the city, although the extremist group has claimed most of the incidents there in recent months.