Gulf Countries

At least 12 killed in Kabul suicide blast

At least 12 killed in Kabul suicide blast

KABUL: At least 12 people were killed on Monday in a suicide attack outside a ministry in the Afghan capital, a day ahead of a planned cease-fire declaration by the government with the Taliban.

The bomber was on foot and detonated explosives strapped to his body at the entrance of the Ministry of Rural Development as employees were leaving, witnesses said.

Police said women were among the 12 killed, and 20 people were wounded. A police source told Arab News that the death toll could rise.

The attack came hours after civilians were wounded when four assailants, one of them a suicide bomber, carried out a failed raid on a government department in the eastern city of Jalalabad.

No group has claimed responsibility for either incident, which come less than a day before the announcement of a temporary truce with the Taliban, but not with Daesh or other foreign militant networks.

The Taliban, the main insurgent group, has vowed to observe a truce during the three days of Eid, but has vowed to continue its attacks against US-led troops.

The planned cease-fire, the first of its kind by either side in the 17-year-war, has raised hopes that they will engage in talks to find a peaceful settlement. But both sides have stepped up attacks against each other in the run-up to the truce.

Earlier on Monday, reports emerged that the Taliban had killed more than 15 government soldiers in Kunduz.

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