Published: Wed, September 18, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Taliban Delegation In Tehran After Visit To Moscow

Taliban Delegation In Tehran After Visit To Moscow

A provincial spokesman, Ataullah Khogyani, said the blast had been carried out by a suicide bomber, and that security forces had rushed to the scene to rescue staff still inside the building. At least 20 people died in those attacks.

According to AP, the Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

On Tuesday morning, 26 people were killed and 42 wounded by a suicide bomber at President Ghani's campaign rally in the central province of Parwan.

Pakistan's foreign ministry has condemned a Taliban suicide attack on a campaign rally by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in northern Afghanistan earlier in the day that killed at least 24 people, including women and children.

More violence is expected in coming days as Afghans prepare for a presidential election on September 28, which the Taliban have promised to disrupt. "If they suffer any losses that is their own responsibility", Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement released after Tuesday's blasts.

Firdaus Faramarz, spokesman for the Kabul police chief, said the attack in the heart of the Afghan capital took place near Massood Square, a deeply congested intersection in the center of Kabul. The insurgent group had warned that polling stations and election campaigns would be targeted. Ghani was present at the venue but was unharmed, according to his campaign chief.

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There has been heavy security at the campaign rallies around the country following the threats by the Taliban, who control almost half the country.

"Within the framework of the Islamic Republic of Iran's comprehensive consultations with all sides in Afghanistan, a political delegation of Taliban visited our country and discussed latest developments with related officials", he said.

For weeks, the election had been sidelined by the US-Taliban talks, with many Afghans and observers expecting the vote to be cancelled if a deal was agreed.

Fighting in Afghanistan: In its September 8 statement, the Taliban also vowed to continue fighting until they secure a withdrawal of foreign forces.

"I offer my heartfelt condolences to victims of today's tragedies in Kabul and Parwan and pray for speedy recovery of those who were wounded", Ghani wrote on his official Twitter account. Meanwhile, Afghan forces, backed by their USA allies, have intensified raids on militant hideouts in recent weeks.

Peace talks between the U.S. and the group began last October in Qatar, with the aim of ending the 18-year-old war in Afghanistan.

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