Spate of deadly attacks hit Afghanistan amid Eid ceasefire

At least 19 people, including 10 Taliban fighters, killed in separate incidents days after ceasefire deal was announced.

Jalalabad Afghanistan
The eastern city of Jalalabad has seen a string of attacks in recent months [File: Associated Press]

Afghanistan has seen a spate of deadly attacks, including an attempt to storm the education department in the eastern city of Jalalabad in which at least 10 civilians have been wounded.

Three attackers were shot dead by security forces as they tried to enter the building, Attahullah Khogyani, spokesman for the provincial governor of Nangarhar province said on Monday.

He said a vehicle filled with explosives was found near the scene of the attack.

In Ghazni province, at least six civilians were killed when a roadside bomb struck a minibus, while up to 10 Taliban fighters and three policemen were killed in clashes with security forces in a separate attack.

The attacks come days after a ceasefire deal was announced by President Ashraf Ghani.

The Taliban armed group, which has waged a bloody armed rebellion against Kabul since it was removed from power in 2001, also agreed to a three-day ceasefire to coincide with a Muslim holiday of Eid.

The assault on the government building started when one of the attackers detonated a suicide vest, after which three gunmen attacked the building. Security forces subsequently killed the three remaining assailants in a gun battle that took about 10 minutes.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.

String of violent incidents

Jalalabad has seen a string of violent incidents over the last several months.


Last month, eight people were killed and 45 were wounded in a bomb attack on Ramadan night-time cricket tournament.

One week before that attack, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group claimed responsibility for a deadly assault on the government finance directorate building.

At least eight people were killed and four injured in that attack.

Afghan security forces have struggled to combat the Taliban and ISIL since the US and NATO formally concluded their combat mission in the country in 2014 and shifted their focus to a support and counterterrorism role.

ISIL has established a stronghold in Nangarhar, of which Jalalabad is capital, where it fights both the Taliban and Afghan government forces.

The Taliban have seized control of districts across the country, and the two groups have carried out attacks in the Afghan capital, Kabul, in recent months, killing hundreds of people.

Last year, the US pledged to increase its support to struggling Afghan forces, announcing plans for thousands of additional advisers and increasing air raids in a bid to force the Taliban to enter peace negotiations.

The Taliban has set the withdrawal of US-led foreign forces as a precondition for talks.

Source: Al Jazeera