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Iran Press TV

Suspected car bomb blast kills 18 in eastern Afghanistan

Iran Press TV

Thursday, 30 July 2020 11:09 PM

At least 18 people, including Afghan security personnel, are killed in a suspected car bombing in eastern Afghanistan, shortly before an expected ceasefire between the government and the Taliban militant group.

The blast targeted Afghan security forces in Pul-e-Alan, the capital of the Logar Province, Shahpoor Ahmadzai, spokesman for the provincial police, was cited by Reuters as saying.

Civilian casualties are also feared, he added.

Hasib Stanekkzai, head of the provincial council, announced the death toll to the agency, adding that 22 more people had also been wounded in the incident.

The Taliban, though, have denied any responsibility for the explosion.

The militants have announced the ceasefire on the occasion of the Muslim festivity of Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice) that marks the end of the annual Hajj pilgrimage.

Logar neighbors the country's Nangarhar Province that has come to host the largest number of terrorists belonging to the Takfiri Daesh group over the recent years. The terrorists have staged some high-profile attacks across Afghanistan since suffering defeat in Syria and Iraq in late 2017.

The three-day ceasefire will begin on Friday. It has raised hopes of a permanent truce ahead of much-awaited peace talks between the Taliban and Kabul.

The two sides have so far managed to process the biggest part of a prisoner swap in an apparent sign of mutual willingness towards cessation of hostilities.

The deal has mandated Kabul to release 5,000 Taliban prisoners in return for some 1,000 Afghan security personnel held by the militants.

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